Definition of wave in English:



  • 1[no object] Move one's hand to and fro in greeting or as a signal.

    ‘he waved to me from the train’
    • ‘He walked me home and waited until I waved from my window to leave.’
    • ‘The castle was tall and wide with bright decorations and people waving from the small windows.’
    • ‘The great man waved to the crowds in the main grandstand, and gentle applause wafted back at him.’
    • ‘His eyes caught sight of Henry standing behind the window, and he waved cheerfully at him as well.’
    • ‘She caught sight of him and waved with a huge smile plastered on her face.’
    • ‘I absently waved with a smile and continued to stare at my schedule.’
    • ‘I would see the old woman, sometimes, from the window: she would wave to us.’
    • ‘He waved to me as he began to jog away, and I cheerfully waved back.’
    • ‘A pretty red-haired girl waved frantically to catch Allyson's attention from the school's parking lot.’
    • ‘I waved out the window to my friends, dreading the conversation I was going to have with my parents when I got home.’
    • ‘I waved over my shoulder as I made my way towards the school library.’
    • ‘She waved over her shoulder as she walked out of the hospital room.’
    • ‘I saw her mom's face looking from the window and I waved, but she disappeared behind the curtain.’
    • ‘A woman got out and waved in his direction, then started toward the gate.’
    • ‘The little figure on the monitor was waving directly at the camera.’
    • ‘She pretended she didn't understand the gesture, and cheerfully waved back.’
    • ‘He didn't come out, he didn't wave or slide the window open to yell for me.’
    • ‘Her friends waved from the windows as she giggled with glee.’
    • ‘I found Jeremy sitting at one of the tables by the lunch room window and waved.’
    • ‘Don't encourage your children to wave from the windows, as they might try to climb up when you're out of the room.’
    gesture, gesticulate, signal, sign, beckon, indicate, motion, nod, bid
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    1. 1.1[with object]Move (one's hand or arm, or something held in one's hand) to and fro.
      ‘he waved a sheaf of papers in the air’
      • ‘Chad smiled and waved his hand, shaking his head.’
      • ‘‘No, no,’ he demurs, waving his hands in front of his face.’
      • ‘As you sing the song the next time, you wave your left hand in time with the music.’
      • ‘All of a sudden, out of the very depths of the monument a little wiry man jumped out waving his hands about a lot.’
      • ‘She does her normal move of waving her fan and producing a wall of spikes to kill her enemy.’
      • ‘They started cheering madly waving their school flags as well.’
      • ‘The men were frantically waving their arms around to indicate they were in distress.’
      • ‘Flags were waved, arms punched the air.’
      • ‘To the bitter end he kept waving under her nose a brochure of their dream house across town.’
      • ‘They have no use for the dignified thumb sign, but wave their hands recklessly in an attempt to attract the rider and somehow get him to stop.’
      • ‘Even before birth, babies repeatedly kick their legs, wave their arms, and bring their hands to the mouth.’
      • ‘Her eyelids open even more as she struggles to focus on what I'm waving under her nose.’
      • ‘The physician merely waves an electronic wand in front of the patient's chest.’
      • ‘A man said that as he turned onto Buckley Road, a bearded man waved his fist and scared him.’
      • ‘A small group of protesters waved placards and shouted slogans before fighting with police.’
      • ‘Everyone is waving their arms and talking at once.’
      • ‘This is undoubtedly a good thing, as it allows him to wave his arms about and shout with little danger of catching innocent bystanders on the chin.’
      • ‘Soldiers seemed to be dropping the second as she waved the staff, moving gracefully around the dock.’
      • ‘Later she went on a walkabout from Durham Market Place to Millennium Place where people, cheering and waving Union Jacks, packed the pavements to see her.’
      • ‘I stared at the cigarette the girl was waving in front of my face.’
      move to and fro, move up and down, wag, waggle
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    2. 1.2[with object]Convey (a greeting or other message) by waving one's hand or something held in it.
      ‘we waved our farewells’
      [with two objects] ‘she waved him goodbye’
      • ‘But for today you wave a sad farewell as it floats back off into the night sky.’
      • ‘With the reassurance it would be no challenge for people who had made treks in the Himalayas, she waved them goodbye.’
      • ‘‘You look adorable in that shirt,’ she said before waving an enthusiastic goodbye.’
      • ‘She waves a wistful goodbye to him and blows him a kiss.’
      • ‘Raine turned to leave, waving her boss good-bye as she wobbled like a goose towards the frost-lined door of the small book-store.’
      • ‘Gwen hopped up the steps, waving her farewells to her fellow classmates.’
      • ‘I waved greetings in the general direction of the blokes, and smiled at the girls.’
      • ‘A new survey reveals that less than a quarter of people wait on the platform to wave their loved one farewell until the train has pulled out.’
      • ‘Jason called back, waving a greeting simultaneously.’
      • ‘Leaving their hotel room to go to the Peppermint Lounge, the lads wave a sweet goodbye to the two-man camera crew.’
      • ‘I pass Peggy on the way out; she waves a quick goodbye and then continues talking on the phone.’
      • ‘Felix looked back to Joel, waving a good bye as they disappeared into their different classrooms.’
      • ‘The villagers all line the dock, tears welling in their respective eyes, waving a mournful farewell to the departing sailors.’
      • ‘Lucie and Manfred were standing nearby, waving the general good-bye.’
      • ‘Sky says she will see them all next week and waves them good bye.’
      • ‘She was waving her goodbyes like a queen leaving her loving subject.’
      • ‘As he passed, merchants and shoppers smiled and waved their greetings.’
      • ‘There are ready smiles from residents who wave their greetings as we eventually head off the road and towards a small clutch of humble wooden dwellings.’
      • ‘The next scene finds an elderly man driving through Nazareth waving hello to passers-by while insulting them under his breath.’
      • ‘He looked back at the at the shop, waving a final goodbye as they rode away.’
    3. 1.3[with object and adverbial of direction]Instruct (someone) to move in a particular direction by moving one's hand.
      ‘he waved her back’
      • ‘He stood away from the doorframe and moved further into the room when Joshua waved him over.’
      • ‘When he stops to ask my compartment for money, the woman opposite waves him away.’
      • ‘At every intersection, in every town, there was a traffic policeman or two, waving us on.’
      • ‘She waved the people away with a small smile, telling them that she was fine and didn't need any help at all.’
      • ‘Police were running from the scene and waving people away.’
      • ‘The men wouldn't let me close to him, waving me away.’
      • ‘I waved him back down into his seat and gave Arlene a glare.’
      • ‘He waves the men - his bodyguards, or so it would seem - away, and motions for me to sit.’
      • ‘Davis agreed, and both men were waved past a metal detector.’
      • ‘Mr. Lawson our director comes out at that moment and waves me over.’
      • ‘The secretary waves the Captain into the Director's office.’
      • ‘She motioned the next person forward while waving him off.’
      • ‘I nodded and offered to help but he waved me away.’
      • ‘But this visit wasn't on my behalf; Aaron left me at the door and moved toward a table of other vampires who waved him over.’
      • ‘One of the nearby guards stepped forward with his weapon brandished, but she waved him back.’
      • ‘For example, guards may wave people they know through, leaving no record of who is in the facility.’
      • ‘She waved his family in and explained what all the instruments were.’
      • ‘Jefferson waved him away and rubbed his aching temples.’
      • ‘Along the way all the commissars move over and wave us by.’
      • ‘Once the Garda driver showed his badge he was waved on.’
  • 2[no object] Move to and fro with a swaying motion while remaining fixed to one point.

    ‘the flag waved in the wind’
    • ‘He turned to face Mindy, her ravishing, long brown hair waving in the slight breeze.’
    • ‘She cried out, her arms waving frantically in the air as she sought to keep her balance.’
    • ‘My long hair waved wildly in the light breeze that was blowing.’
    • ‘His blue hair waved slightly in the wind.’
    • ‘A few flags waved from their poles, sporting the Institution's signature colors - maroon and white.’
    • ‘Sure enough, the flags waving high in the streets of the city bore the crest of Northwind, where Jessie's husband, Ben, was Duke.’
    • ‘His dark hair fell to his shoulders, waving slightly in the breeze.’
    • ‘You could barely see the folk for the flags waving.’
    • ‘Ribbons and flags of silver waved in the soft warm breeze.’
    • ‘Banners and purple flags waved in the brisk cold breeze.’
    • ‘He saw the yellow and black police tape waving eerily in the strong wind.’
    • ‘Its gun-ports were visible even at this distance, and a flag, unidentifiable, waved defiantly atop the mainmast.’
    • ‘Dozens of turrets and towers jutted into the painted sky, black-and-violet flags waving from their tops.’
    • ‘When they were closer, I could see the way his pale hair waved in the slight breeze, which only served to make me feel even colder.’
    • ‘The rolling hills stretched out before them, the grass waving in the wind.’
    • ‘Flags waving in St Peter's Square ranged from Poland to Mexico, Taiwan to Lebanon.’
    • ‘Motorcycles and cars roam the streets with palm-sized Indonesian flags waving.’
    • ‘Jamie lifted his head and looked at the green tent as it flapped and waved in the wind and rain.’
    • ‘And there's American flags waving in the background, and plenty of 'em.’
    • ‘Furthermore, this portrait symbolizes the patriotism felt in this country with the three American flags waving in the background.’
    ripple, flutter, undulate, stir, flap, sway, swing, waft, shake, quiver, oscillate, move
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  • 3[with object] Style (hair) so that it curls slightly.

    ‘her hair had been carefully waved for the evening’
    • ‘For the model above the hair was waved with a stacked perm at the back of the neck to get volume up to the occipital bone, and layered and textured through the front.’
    • ‘He was in his forties, she guessed, with thick, dark, waved hair and big baby-blue eyes.’
    • ‘The smile on Tory's face dwindled, and he nodded as he ran a hand through his softly waved blonde hair.’
    • ‘She wore, black strappy high heeled sandals and her long dark hair was waved to perfection.’
    1. 3.1[no object](of hair) grow with a slight curl.
      ‘thick, waving grey hair sprouted back from his forehead’
      • ‘Her red hair waved in short curls around the small face and Lully's baby fat made her features look even more human.’
      • ‘His light brown hair waved back almost to his shoulders while still puffing outward slightly.’
      • ‘Free-flowing golden brown hair waved gently over her shoulders.’
      • ‘The teacher was short with curly brown hair waving down to her shoulders, but she looked extremely strict for her type.’
      • ‘Her golden hair waved gently down her back and she walked with a suggestive sway, perfected by few women.’
      • ‘Her long red hair waved down her back and her huge brown eyes glinted in the mirror.’
      • ‘Turning his head down, golden hair waving atop his head, he spit out an apple seed.’
      • ‘Most of my hair was waving down my shoulders in soft waves, shining with the golden sheer cloth hanging all around.’
      • ‘Her reddish-golden hair was waving around past her shoulders, and shining as usual.’
      • ‘Her shoulder length brown hair waved around her bare shoulders.’
      • ‘She had dark ebony hair that waved down to the end of her shoulders.’
      curl, kink, coil, undulate
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  • 1A long body of water curling into an arched form and breaking on the shore.

    ‘he was swept out to sea by a freak wave’
    • ‘A calmer Maracas Bay enticed these men into its waters yesterday, even though two days before bathers scampered for safety as massive waves crashed on the shore.’
    • ‘Huge waves slammed into the shores of remote, north-east coast village two weeks ago, destroying its thriving fishing industry.’
    • ‘It's high tide, so the sea in its surfeit doesn't pound itself against the shore but sends its waves softly like gulls gliding.’
    • ‘The image of a pristine island - azure waves lapping at the shore, palm trees silhouetted in the setting sun - is synonymous with paradise.’
    • ‘I remembered the young soldier on the cliff top standing with me in silence as we looked down at the peaceful waves lapping the shore beneath us.’
    • ‘While the guys attempted to body surf the waves, the girls laid out on the sand to tan.’
    • ‘We went to the beach and watched the dull grey waves slam the white shore.’
    • ‘He had anticipated this move though for as soon as she broke the surface a wave of water hit her.’
    • ‘The waves climb up the shore only to retreat back to their haven.’
    • ‘As he posed for photographs near the shore a huge wave knocked him from his perch and almost carried him out to sea.’
    • ‘The only sound she could hear was the ocean waves crashing down on the sand.’
    • ‘The waves hammering the shore cause the bulk of the damage in a hurricane landfall.’
    • ‘It was the voices of a thousand songbirds, of waves lapping against the shore, and of a pack of wolves, mourning the loss of their leader.’
    • ‘As a large wave approaches the shore, the two take off in a race for the beach.’
    • ‘Just listen to the song of the lark, the lapping of the waves on the shore.’
    • ‘Above him, sea birds wheeled and called and although he couldn't see a beach, he could hear the gentle wash of waves on the shore.’
    • ‘We waded near the shore and the waves would come and knock her over.’
    • ‘The sound of the waves breaking on the shore is a fine way to fall asleep.’
    • ‘More remarkably, fish actually emerge from the ocean, riding high waves onto shore to spawn on the sandy beaches.’
    • ‘Its job is to return to the sea the water that comes to shore with the breaking waves.’
    breaker, billow, roller, comber, ripple, white horse, white cap
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    1. 1.1A ridge of water between two depressions in open water.
      ‘gulls and cormorants bobbed on the waves’
      • ‘They are light seaworthy craft without a keel which ride large ocean waves and skim up shallow rivers.’
      • ‘The tide slapped against the dock wall, and seagulls croaked as they bobbed on the waves, or flew above their heads.’
      • ‘Clothing, bits and pieces of wood and fiberglass swirled and bobbed on the waves.’
      • ‘Closest the Loyalty, her brother's ship, bobbed with the gentle waves of the harbor.’
      • ‘This powerful two-hander set on the open waves chilled me to the bone.’
      • ‘The sun would be shimmering on the gently rolling waves and fishing boats would be bobbing in the water.’
      • ‘Occasionally, we would jump in to the salt water and bob about in the waves to cool off.’
      • ‘Just over an hour into the battle a strange alien-like object surfaced about thirty yards from the boat and bobbed on the waves.’
      • ‘The wooden hulls of the canoes would have bobbed on the desert of water, lapped by waves repeating and repeating the vastness of the earth in soft undulations.’
      • ‘There was a loud splash as the anchor fell into the shallow waters, dragging a large rope tethered behind it and slowing the boat as it bobbed upon the waves like a toy.’
      • ‘After a short but thorough lesson on handling our craft we were away, bobbing through the gentle waves.’
      • ‘We waded across to Witch Island, the warm waves gently lapping our legs.’
      • ‘As we left Stavanger behind, we moved out of the shelter of the Sande headland into open water and the full force of the waves hit us, rocking our little boat like a piece of matchwood.’
      • ‘The superstructure was built atop several huge columns, criss-crossed with stabilising struts, protruding from the waves.’
      • ‘The roar of a sharp, white speedboat woke him as it skipped across the waves, out past the children bobbing in inflatable rubber rings.’
      • ‘Once in the water, the upswept bow and flared sides allow it to handle waves while the shallow arc bottom provides stability.’
      • ‘Four rigid-inflatable boats then went after the merchant vessel, zipping across the waves until they pulled level on the starboard side.’
      • ‘The artist had been set afloat at sea in a large clear bubble, naked, as several other empty bubbles bobbed on the waves around him.’
      • ‘The ship bobbed on the waves, without any of the sudden heaving that it had been accustomed to so far into the trip.’
      • ‘I was first confused, then enraged, as he bobbed in the waves repeating his taunting question.’
      wavelet, undulation, ripplet, ridge, crease, wrinkle, ruffle, pucker
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    2. 1.2A shape regarded as resembling a breaking wave.
      ‘a wave of treetops stretched to the horizon’
      • ‘In fact on the rare occasions when she did unbraid her dark blonde tresses they flowed down her back in a rippling wave, permanently creased from the braiding.’
      • ‘It stretches in concrete waves over the horizon and Kaliningrad is its greatest monumental evocation.’
      • ‘At the mine, a path leads into cloudforest, and along the way I can see over waves of razor-sharp ridges into South America.’
      • ‘The long ripened grass rippled in waves for miles along the undulating countryside.’
      • ‘The plains spread out below beyond waves of barren ridges and Junagadh, too, was clearly visible.’
    3. 1.3literary The sea.
      • ‘They were also a maritime power and ruled the waves around the western shores for a thousand years.’
  • 2A sudden occurrence of or increase in a phenomenon, feeling, or emotion.

    ‘a wave of strikes had paralysed the government’
    ‘fear came over me in waves’
    • ‘The immigration waves that have shaped so much of the city's personality have created a series of villages.’
    • ‘In a dynamic, innovative economy, these forces unleash waves upon waves of change.’
    • ‘Waves of energy arrive, waves upon waves of sadness, of despair.’
    • ‘Less restraint was shown in bygone days, when shark attacks sometimes inspired mass waves of indiscriminate killing.’
    • ‘This latest wave of violence is being looked at very closely.’
    • ‘But I'll tell you, it hasn't stopped this wave of illegal immigration.’
    • ‘It was a scene repeated at polling stations across America last week as an unprecedented wave of early voting signalled a potentially sharp rise in overall turnout.’
    • ‘The upward tendency in arms exports has generated a new wave of company mergers, especially in the aerospace industry.’
    • ‘Momentum was increased by a fresh wave of Russian pogroms in 1903.’
    • ‘And this latest wave of complaints about the behavior won't be the last.’
    • ‘The United States also pledged $350m to help tsunami victims, a tenfold increase over its first wave of aid.’
    • ‘Did you never wonder what these sudden waves of mass hysteria were about?’
    • ‘After the mid-19th century there was a wave of mass migration of poor Europeans to North America, and to other colonies, such as Brazil and South Africa.’
    • ‘Discussions with school officials indicate that waves of immigration differ for the ethnic groups.’
    • ‘But the enduring depression led to a wave of negative equity.’
    • ‘Their plans sent the first wave of bright-eyed immigrants back to Palestine in 1881.’
    • ‘Kris burst into a fresh wave of sobs as she collapsed in Mike's arms.’
    • ‘So will one the features of this new age - in addition to the welcome growth in sexual openness - be a terrible wave of increased sexual assaults?’
    • ‘Waves of immigrants began to flow into Mauritania in the third century AD.’
    • ‘Plans to lift prices earlier this year were postponed after a wave of protests.’
    flow, rush, surge, flood, stream, swell, tide, deluge, torrent, spate, billow
    surge, rush, ripple, spasm, thrill, frisson, shiver, tingle, stab, dart
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  • 3A gesture or signal made by moving one's hand to and fro.

    ‘he gave a little wave and walked off’
    • ‘He gave me a small wave and walked back to his beat up little station wagon.’
    • ‘Mr. Krupp made a dismissive wave of his hand, as if to quiet his wife.’
    • ‘She acknowledged the gesture with a wave of her own.’
    • ‘She practiced her scripted greeting as well as her waves and hand gestures, making sure that every word and every single detail was downright perfect.’
    • ‘He shook hands and gave his typical wave and victory sign.’
    • ‘The bartender will acknowledge this with a similar gesture or a wave.’
    • ‘His every step all day was taken to applause acknowledged with a thumbs-up gesture, a wave, a nod.’
    • ‘The group use the hand waves to signal their agreement or disagreement, and a minute-taker speaks only to clarify points raised.’
    • ‘‘Your Majesty,’ she began, but he cut her off with a gesture, a wave of a hand that was clearly royal.’
    • ‘His soft brown eyes slowly drifted to meet my very confused and puzzled gaze and with a simple wave of the hand gestured for me to take a seat.’
    • ‘On the way back from the bathroom I have to pass by them he catches my eye and smiles so I just give a little wave and keep walking as I don't want to interrupt his picking up.’
    • ‘From the opening handshake to the final wave, Tabby did most of the talking and came across as a genuinely charming character.’
    • ‘Then with a small wave, he walked down the hallway and out the door.’
    • ‘She tried to smile warmly at him, but it turned more into a grimace, so she sufficed with a simple wave before walking on.’
    • ‘She acknowledged the kind gesture with a wave and a smile.’
    • ‘With a wave Patric walked casually outside the store and found a small bench on the other side of this ornamental bush where he sat himself down.’
    • ‘However he did say a brief hello to everyone and had friendly waves and handshakes for all.’
    • ‘I wave back - then worry about the manner of the wave.’
    • ‘We greeted each other with a wave and I gestured for him to look at the door.’
    • ‘Seeing that Christian is now awake, Lucas gives a small wave, gesturing for the younger boy to open the window.’
    gesture, gesticulation, hand movement
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  • 4A slightly curling lock of hair.

    ‘his hair was drying in unruly waves’
    • ‘Dark raven locks fell in soft waves upon his shoulders.’
    • ‘The woman chuckled and shook her head, her chestnut brown waves of hair falling over her shoulders.’
    • ‘Her glistening blue eyes shone in his mind, and the waves of curled red locks that fell constantly into those sapphire gems trailed across his vision.’
    • ‘I made it a quick one, not the long soak I was dying to have, and dried my hair into soft waves.’
    • ‘Her long platinum blond hair fell in large waves to the small of her back.’
    • ‘She recognized the shaggy brown locks that fell in waves around his boyish face, belying the fact that he was her senior by a handful of years.’
    • ‘If you wish to have a slight wave to the hair instead of lots of volume, use a curling iron or Velcro rollers to achieve a delicate wave.’
    • ‘My super long (hip length) dark brown hair cascades out down my shoulders and back settling in waves and ringlets all about.’
    • ‘I was a mess with my waves slightly frizzy and up in a messy bun, lip gloss only and black circles under my eyes, fairly baggy faded blue jeans, and a black hoody.’
    • ‘Black, glossy waves of hair brushed her bare shoulders.’
    • ‘His dirty blonde waves of hair were tousled slightly and his tan arms were smudged with grease and dirt, but he still had me drawn.’
    • ‘Her eyes seemed to glow bright amber, and her dark hair fell across her back and shoulders in unruly waves.’
    • ‘He had waves in his hair, a nice deep chocolate color.’
    • ‘But Serena was already asleep, her hair cascading down in waves.’
    • ‘Anyway, I didn't quite succeed at getting those stupid waves out of my hair, so I tied it up.’
    • ‘In disregard for the current fashion, she wore her hair in loose golden waves and opted for sleeker skirts than the huge domed tents that were in style.’
    • ‘To avoid tangling and to maintain waves, cover hair with a bonnet at night.’
    • ‘Everyone knew her hair dried in loose waves, which would shine from all of the delicate oils.’
    • ‘His unruly dark waves of hair had been blowing across his forehead.’
    • ‘Her sun-kissed shoulders peeked out from under the waves of tresses, obviously more than a few shades lighter than Rae's.’
    curl, kink, corkscrew, crimp, twist, twirl, ringlet, frizz, coil, loop, undulation
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    1. 4.1[in singular]A tendency to curl in a person's hair.
      ‘her hair has a slight natural wave’
      • ‘Her hair was white-blonde with a slight wave and she had sky blue eyes.’
      • ‘Sure, my outfit was great and my hair held a natural wave that I didn't want to mess with.’
      • ‘They had styled my hair by blowing it out straight so that even the ends were perfect without any of my natural wave or curl.’
      • ‘We finger-styled Tamara's hair fresh out of the shower, coaxing out the natural wave in her otherwise pin-straight hair.’
      • ‘Her hair had a slight wave to it from it always being in a ponytail.’
      • ‘He was clean shaven, had dark hair which was around one-and-a-half inches long with a slight wave, and was wearing a black hooded top with black jeans.’
      • ‘I have a slight wave in my hair so it looks choppy when it is roughly cut.’
      • ‘Standing at well over six feet, he had long, dark hair with a slight wave to it that just brushed his shoulders.’
      • ‘Her long dark blonde hair had a natural wave and hung half to her waist.’
      • ‘It ‘gave a rotundity to my person, a wave and curl to my hair, and perhaps led me to fancy pictorial illustration and flaming colours’.’
      • ‘It is straight and flat with no curl, but may have a slight wave.’
      • ‘Applied to wet hair, it stretches out the wave to mimic the texture of relaxed hair.’
      curl, kink, corkscrew, crimp, twist, twirl, ringlet, frizz, coil, loop, undulation
      View synonyms
  • 5Physics
    A periodic disturbance of the particles of a substance which may be propagated without net movement of the particles, such as in the passage of undulating motion, heat, or sound.

    • ‘This imbalance creates pressure waves which propagate through the early universe.’
    • ‘Song production clearly involves some metabolic cost to a bird because energy is transmitted to the surroundings in the form of sound pressure waves.’
    • ‘The flight tests showed by designing the aircraft to a specific shape, the pressure waves can be kept from merging.’
    • ‘Sound is a wave of compression and rarefaction in air.’
    • ‘Only in three dimensions can waves propagate in an undistorted and reverberation-free fashion.’
    ripple, vibration, oscillation, undulation
    View synonyms
    1. 5.1A single curve in the course of a periodic disturbance of the particles of a substance.
      • ‘Beyond this point, the damping steals energy from the wave and its amplitude quickly declines.’
      • ‘The amplitude of a wave tells you how much energy the wave has.’
    2. 5.2A periodic variation of an electromagnetic field in the propagation of light or other radiation through a medium or vacuum.
      • ‘To transmit energy or a signal, the waves must come in a range of frequencies, which combine to form packets.’
      • ‘We know that radio waves and waves of all kinds of frequencies are constantly going through our bodies.’
      • ‘The shape, size, and configuration of the transmitting antenna defines the wave frequency and the shape of the transmitted wave.’
      • ‘When cornering the first one we found out that when the tracking device was positioned in between the two signals that the wave was disrupted.’
      • ‘Information lies in the frequency and amplitude of the waves recorded in different channels.’


On confusion between wave and waive, see waive


  • make waves

    • 1informal Create a significant impression.

      ‘he has already made waves as a sculptor’
      • ‘It is the kind of thought process we in this country love and I suspect it will make waves when it is published in English, as it already has been into Chinese and other languages.’
      • ‘It seems this and another study are already making waves in that field.’
      • ‘Success in Athens is already making waves across the Mediterranean.’
      • ‘Though only in its third year, Macalester's African American Studies Conference is already making waves.’
      • ‘This story is already making waves in the book world.’
      • ‘Kelly is also impressed with one Galway company that is making waves in Asia.’
      • ‘Ulster attempted to sign him three summers ago when he was making waves at Connacht and already touted as an international.’
      • ‘The locally grown invention is already making waves across Australia and even overseas.’
      • ‘It has already made waves in the science community, with students from the school making a groundbreaking ecological discovery in Richmond Park when they measured the life around the Pen Ponds car park.’
      • ‘His new book, The Lost Love Letters of Heloise and Abelard is already making waves.’
      1. 1.1Cause trouble.
        ‘I don't want to risk her welfare by making waves’
        • ‘He wants to avoid making waves if he can, obviously.’
        • ‘Drugs are also still making waves in the tennis world.’
        • ‘That was the straw that broke the camel's back for a lot of lads who had already been making waves over the living conditions and their treatment.’
        • ‘He cannot understand why they should be making waves, including making waves publicly, about the running of the village, because all it does is undermine everybody's investment.’
        • ‘Being part of the jeans generation is an affirmation of the positive aspects of life, and indicates a willingness to defy convention and question tradition, rather than keep a low profile and avoid making waves.’
        • ‘After only a few weeks on the job with the Rangers, he already is making waves for his newest rivals - the Stanley Cup champion Devils.’
        • ‘But the affable lawyer with little stomach for making waves didn't take him off the job.’
        cause trouble, be disruptive, be troublesome, cause a disturbance
        make an impression, be noticed
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Phrasal Verbs

  • wave something aside

    • Dismiss something as unnecessary or irrelevant.

      ‘he waved the objection aside and carried on’
      • ‘But I waved the thought aside, resolute in my decision.’
      • ‘‘Whatever,’ Juliet said, waving their comments aside.’
      • ‘He had been begging her to let him call a doctor for the past few days, but she just kept waving his concerns aside.’
      • ‘William was about to speak again, but the old man waved his efforts aside.’
      • ‘Johnny waved the question aside with a graceful sweep of his hand, as though all was forgiven.’
      • ‘The man himself is, however, quick to wave the formalities aside.’
      • ‘She waved it aside, sending him an assuring smile.’
      • ‘He'd waved them aside with the excuse that he must have caught a bug.’
      • ‘With a shake of his head, Joe waved the statement aside.’
      • ‘He waved it aside, and looked back to the screen.’
      dismiss, reject, brush aside, put aside, set aside, shrug off, disregard, ignore, spurn, rebuff, discount, repudiate, put out of one's mind, play down, treat with contempt
      pooh-pooh, pour cold water on
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  • wave someone/thing down

    • Use one's hand to give a signal to stop to a driver or vehicle.

      ‘he waved down a taxi and drove off’
      • ‘Last week I was driving along Churchview in Bessbrook when a bloke waved me down.’
      • ‘One morning, when all the boxes were visible, and even with one lady waving the lorry down, the dustmen just laughed and drove on.’
      • ‘He waved a taxi down and ushered the woman, against her faint protests, into it.’
      • ‘Jade waved them down and they stopped, amazingly.’
      • ‘Near the stalled car, a dark figure stood in the middle of the road, shoulders hunched against the weather; waving her down.’
      • ‘The police advise you not to stop if they wave you down in the middle of the night but rather speed past them and drive to your nearest police station.’
      • ‘It wasn't long before Keenan had spotted a cab and waved it down.’
      • ‘The snowmobile screamed down the street as Toby passed the police cars, he knew he wouldn't be able to wave them down to stop as they were focused solely on getting to the garage.’
      • ‘As we closed with them one man tried to wave us down.’
      • ‘Regular commuters to Dublin can also wave the bus down along the route each morning and they will be picked up.’
      flag down, hail, signal to stop, stop, signal, summon, call, shout to, accost
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Old English wafian (verb), from the Germanic base of waver; the noun by alteration (influenced by the verb) of Middle English wawe ‘(sea) wave’.