Definition of wave in English:

wave

verb

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

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

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

    ‘her hair had been carefully waved for the evening’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She wore, black strappy high heeled sandals and her long dark hair was waved to perfection.’
    1. 3.1no object (of hair) grow with a slight curl.
      ‘thick, waving grey hair sprouted back from his forehead’
      • ‘Her shoulder length brown hair waved around her bare shoulders.’
      • ‘Most of my hair was waving down my shoulders in soft waves, shining with the golden sheer cloth hanging all around.’
      • ‘Her golden hair waved gently down her back and she walked with a suggestive sway, perfected by few women.’
      • ‘The teacher was short with curly brown hair waving down to her shoulders, but she looked extremely strict for her type.’
      • ‘Her red hair waved in short curls around the small face and Lully's baby fat made her features look even more human.’
      • ‘Her reddish-golden hair was waving around past her shoulders, and shining as usual.’
      • ‘His light brown hair waved back almost to his shoulders while still puffing outward slightly.’
      • ‘Turning his head down, golden hair waving atop his head, he spit out an apple seed.’
      • ‘Free-flowing golden brown hair waved gently over her shoulders.’
      • ‘Her long red hair waved down her back and her huge brown eyes glinted in the mirror.’
      • ‘She had dark ebony hair that waved down to the end of her shoulders.’
      curl, kink, coil, undulate
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noun

  • 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’
    • ‘The image of a pristine island - azure waves lapping at the shore, palm trees silhouetted in the setting sun - is synonymous with paradise.’
    • ‘The only sound she could hear was the ocean waves crashing down on the sand.’
    • ‘More remarkably, fish actually emerge from the ocean, riding high waves onto shore to spawn on the sandy beaches.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Just listen to the song of the lark, the lapping of the waves on the shore.’
    • ‘He had anticipated this move though for as soon as she broke the surface a wave of water hit her.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We went to the beach and watched the dull grey waves slam the white shore.’
    • ‘While the guys attempted to body surf the waves, the girls laid out on the sand to tan.’
    • ‘As a large wave approaches the shore, the two take off in a race for the beach.’
    • ‘The waves hammering the shore cause the bulk of the damage in a hurricane landfall.’
    • ‘As he posed for photographs near the shore a huge wave knocked him from his perch and almost carried him out to sea.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We waded near the shore and the waves would come and knock her over.’
    • ‘Its job is to return to the sea the water that comes to shore with the breaking waves.’
    • ‘The waves climb up the shore only to retreat back to their haven.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The sound of the waves breaking on the shore is a fine way to fall asleep.’
    breaker, billow, roller, comber, ripple, white horse, white cap
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A ridge of water between two depressions in open water.
      ‘gulls and cormorants bobbed on the waves’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Clothing, bits and pieces of wood and fiberglass swirled and bobbed on the waves.’
      • ‘I was first confused, then enraged, as he bobbed in the waves repeating his taunting question.’
      • ‘The sun would be shimmering on the gently rolling waves and fishing boats would be bobbing in the water.’
      • ‘After a short but thorough lesson on handling our craft we were away, bobbing through the gentle waves.’
      • ‘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 superstructure was built atop several huge columns, criss-crossed with stabilising struts, protruding from the waves.’
      • ‘The ship bobbed on the waves, without any of the sudden heaving that it had been accustomed to so far into the trip.’
      • ‘We waded across to Witch Island, the warm waves gently lapping our legs.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Occasionally, we would jump in to the salt water and bob about in the waves to cool off.’
      • ‘The roar of a sharp, white speedboat woke him as it skipped across the waves, out past the children bobbing in inflatable rubber rings.’
      • ‘The tide slapped against the dock wall, and seagulls croaked as they bobbed on the waves, or flew above their heads.’
      • ‘Four rigid-inflatable boats then went after the merchant vessel, zipping across the waves until they pulled level on the starboard side.’
      • ‘This powerful two-hander set on the open waves chilled me to the bone.’
      • ‘They are light seaworthy craft without a keel which ride large ocean waves and skim up shallow rivers.’
      • ‘Closest the Loyalty, her brother's ship, bobbed with the gentle waves of the harbor.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Once in the water, the upswept bow and flared sides allow it to handle waves while the shallow arc bottom provides stability.’
      wavelet, undulation, ripplet, ridge, crease, wrinkle, ruffle, pucker
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    2. 1.2 A shape regarded as resembling a breaking wave.
      ‘a wave of treetops stretched to the horizon’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The plains spread out below beyond waves of barren ridges and Junagadh, too, was clearly visible.’
      • ‘The long ripened grass rippled in waves for miles along the undulating countryside.’
    3. 1.3the wavesliterary 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 upward tendency in arms exports has generated a new wave of company mergers, especially in the aerospace industry.’
    • ‘This latest wave of violence is being looked at very closely.’
    • ‘Did you never wonder what these sudden waves of mass hysteria were about?’
    • ‘The United States also pledged $350m to help tsunami victims, a tenfold increase over its first wave of aid.’
    • ‘Kris burst into a fresh wave of sobs as she collapsed in Mike's arms.’
    • ‘Their plans sent the first wave of bright-eyed immigrants back to Palestine in 1881.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Discussions with school officials indicate that waves of immigration differ for the ethnic groups.’
    • ‘In a dynamic, innovative economy, these forces unleash waves upon waves of change.’
    • ‘Waves of immigrants began to flow into Mauritania in the third century AD.’
    • ‘But the enduring depression led to a wave of negative equity.’
    • ‘Momentum was increased by a fresh wave of Russian pogroms in 1903.’
    • ‘Less restraint was shown in bygone days, when shark attacks sometimes inspired mass waves of indiscriminate killing.’
    • ‘Waves of energy arrive, waves upon waves of sadness, of despair.’
    • ‘The immigration waves that have shaped so much of the city's personality have created a series of villages.’
    • ‘But I'll tell you, it hasn't stopped this wave of illegal immigration.’
    • ‘Plans to lift prices earlier this year were postponed after a wave of protests.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And this latest wave of complaints about the behavior won't be the last.’
    flow, rush, surge, flood, stream, swell, tide, deluge, torrent, spate, billow
    surge, rush, ripple, spasm, thrill, frisson, shiver, tingle, stab, dart
    View synonyms
  • 3A gesture or signal made by moving one's hand to and fro.

    ‘he gave a little wave and walked off’
    • ‘The group use the hand waves to signal their agreement or disagreement, and a minute-taker speaks only to clarify points raised.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Seeing that Christian is now awake, Lucas gives a small wave, gesturing for the younger boy to open the window.’
    • ‘The bartender will acknowledge this with a similar gesture or a wave.’
    • ‘Then with a small wave, he walked down the hallway and out the door.’
    • ‘She acknowledged the kind gesture with a wave and a smile.’
    • ‘‘Your Majesty,’ she began, but he cut her off with a gesture, a wave of a hand that was clearly royal.’
    • ‘He gave me a small wave and walked back to his beat up little station wagon.’
    • ‘However he did say a brief hello to everyone and had friendly waves and handshakes for all.’
    • ‘His every step all day was taken to applause acknowledged with a thumbs-up gesture, a wave, a nod.’
    • ‘She acknowledged the gesture with a wave of her own.’
    • ‘He shook hands and gave his typical wave and victory sign.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Mr. Krupp made a dismissive wave of his hand, as if to quiet his wife.’
    • ‘She tried to smile warmly at him, but it turned more into a grimace, so she sufficed with a simple wave before walking on.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘From the opening handshake to the final wave, Tabby did most of the talking and came across as a genuinely charming character.’
    • ‘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.’
    gesture, gesticulation, hand movement
    View synonyms
  • 4A slightly curling lock of hair.

    ‘his hair was drying in unruly waves’
    • ‘Anyway, I didn't quite succeed at getting those stupid waves out of my hair, so I tied it up.’
    • ‘Dark raven locks fell in soft waves upon his shoulders.’
    • ‘Everyone knew her hair dried in loose waves, which would shine from all of the delicate oils.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He had waves in his hair, a nice deep chocolate color.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Her eyes seemed to glow bright amber, and her dark hair fell across her back and shoulders in unruly waves.’
    • ‘His unruly dark waves of hair had been blowing across his forehead.’
    • ‘I made it a quick one, not the long soak I was dying to have, and dried my hair into soft waves.’
    • ‘The woman chuckled and shook her head, her chestnut brown waves of hair falling over her shoulders.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Her sun-kissed shoulders peeked out from under the waves of tresses, obviously more than a few shades lighter than Rae's.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘To avoid tangling and to maintain waves, cover hair with a bonnet at night.’
    • ‘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 long platinum blond hair fell in large waves to the small of her back.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But Serena was already asleep, her hair cascading down in waves.’
    curl, kink, corkscrew, crimp, twist, twirl, ringlet, frizz, coil, loop, undulation
    View synonyms
    1. 4.1in singular A tendency to curl in a person's hair.
      ‘her hair has a slight natural wave’
      • ‘Standing at well over six feet, he had long, dark hair with a slight wave to it that just brushed his shoulders.’
      • ‘We finger-styled Tamara's hair fresh out of the shower, coaxing out the natural wave in her otherwise pin-straight hair.’
      • ‘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’.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It is straight and flat with no curl, but may have a slight wave.’
      • ‘Her hair had a slight wave to it from it always being in a ponytail.’
      • ‘Her long dark blonde hair had a natural wave and hung half to her waist.’
      • ‘Applied to wet hair, it stretches out the wave to mimic the texture of relaxed hair.’
      • ‘Her hair was white-blonde with a slight wave and she had sky blue eyes.’
      • ‘I have a slight wave in my hair so it looks choppy when it is roughly cut.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Sure, my outfit was great and my hair held a natural wave that I didn't want to mess with.’
      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.

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

Usage

On confusion between wave and waive, see waive

Phrases

  • make waves

    • 1informal Create a significant impression.

      ‘he has already made waves as a sculptor’
      • ‘The locally grown invention is already making waves across Australia and even overseas.’
      • ‘His new book, The Lost Love Letters of Heloise and Abelard is already making waves.’
      • ‘Success in Athens is already making waves across the Mediterranean.’
      • ‘Kelly is also impressed with one Galway company that is making waves in Asia.’
      • ‘This story is already making waves in the book world.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Ulster attempted to sign him three summers ago when he was making waves at Connacht and already touted as an international.’
      • ‘Though only in its third year, Macalester's African American Studies Conference is already making waves.’
      • ‘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.’
      1. 1.1Cause trouble.
        ‘I don't want to risk her welfare by making waves’
        • ‘Drugs are also still making waves in the tennis world.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘But the affable lawyer with little stomach for making waves didn't take him off the job.’
        • ‘He wants to avoid making waves if he can, obviously.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘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.’
        cause trouble, be disruptive, be troublesome, cause a disturbance
        View synonyms

Phrasal Verbs

  • wave something aside

    • Dismiss something as unnecessary or irrelevant.

      ‘he waved the objection aside and carried on’
      • ‘The man himself is, however, quick to wave the formalities 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.’
      • ‘Johnny waved the question aside with a graceful sweep of his hand, as though all was forgiven.’
      • ‘He waved it aside, and looked back to the screen.’
      • ‘He'd waved them aside with the excuse that he must have caught a bug.’
      • ‘She waved it aside, sending him an assuring smile.’
      • ‘William was about to speak again, but the old man waved his efforts aside.’
      • ‘‘Whatever,’ Juliet said, waving their comments aside.’
      • ‘With a shake of his head, Joe waved the statement aside.’
      • ‘But I waved the thought aside, resolute in my decision.’
      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
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  • wave someone/something down

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

      ‘he waved down a taxi and drove off’
      • ‘Jade waved them down and they stopped, amazingly.’
      • ‘One morning, when all the boxes were visible, and even with one lady waving the lorry down, the dustmen just laughed and drove on.’
      • ‘Near the stalled car, a dark figure stood in the middle of the road, shoulders hunched against the weather; waving her 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.’
      • ‘Last week I was driving along Churchview in Bessbrook when a bloke waved me down.’
      • ‘Regular commuters to Dublin can also wave the bus down along the route each morning and they will be picked up.’
      • ‘He waved a taxi down and ushered the woman, against her faint protests, into it.’
      • ‘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.’
      flag down, hail, signal to stop, stop, signal, summon, call, shout to, accost
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Origin

Old English wafian (verb), from the Germanic base of waver; the noun by alteration (influenced by the verb) of Middle English wawe ‘(sea) wave’.

Pronunciation

wave

/weɪv/