Definition of wave in English:

wave

verb

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

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

    ‘the flag waved in the wind’
    • ‘She cried out, her arms waving frantically in the air as she sought to keep her balance.’
    • ‘Jamie lifted his head and looked at the green tent as it flapped and waved in the wind and rain.’
    • ‘Sure enough, the flags waving high in the streets of the city bore the crest of Northwind, where Jessie's husband, Ben, was Duke.’
    • ‘Banners and purple flags waved in the brisk cold breeze.’
    • ‘Furthermore, this portrait symbolizes the patriotism felt in this country with the three American flags waving in the background.’
    • ‘His blue hair waved slightly in the wind.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Flags waving in St Peter's Square ranged from Poland to Mexico, Taiwan to Lebanon.’
    • ‘Ribbons and flags of silver waved in the soft warm breeze.’
    • ‘The rolling hills stretched out before them, the grass waving in the wind.’
    • ‘You could barely see the folk for the flags waving.’
    • ‘He saw the yellow and black police tape waving eerily in the strong wind.’
    • ‘My long hair waved wildly in the light breeze that was blowing.’
    • ‘Motorcycles and cars roam the streets with palm-sized Indonesian flags waving.’
    • ‘Dozens of turrets and towers jutted into the painted sky, black-and-violet flags waving from their tops.’
    • ‘Its gun-ports were visible even at this distance, and a flag, unidentifiable, waved defiantly atop the mainmast.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And there's American flags waving in the background, and plenty of 'em.’
    • ‘His dark hair fell to his shoulders, waving slightly in the breeze.’
    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’
    • ‘She wore, black strappy high heeled sandals and her long dark hair was waved to perfection.’
    • ‘The smile on Tory's face dwindled, and he nodded as he ran a hand through his softly waved blonde hair.’
    • ‘He was in his forties, she guessed, with thick, dark, waved hair and big baby-blue eyes.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 3.1[no object] (of hair) grow with a slight curl:
      ‘thick, waving grey hair sprouted back from his forehead’
      • ‘Her reddish-golden hair was waving around past her shoulders, and shining as usual.’
      • ‘Her golden hair waved gently down her back and she walked with a suggestive sway, perfected by few women.’
      • ‘Her red hair waved in short curls around the small face and Lully's baby fat made her features look even more human.’
      • ‘Most of my hair was waving down my shoulders in soft waves, shining with the golden sheer cloth hanging all around.’
      • ‘Her shoulder length brown hair waved around her bare shoulders.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His light brown hair waved back almost to his shoulders while still puffing outward slightly.’
      • ‘She had dark ebony hair that waved down to the end of her shoulders.’
      • ‘Turning his head down, golden hair waving atop his head, he spit out an apple seed.’
      • ‘The teacher was short with curly brown hair waving down to her shoulders, but she looked extremely strict for her type.’
      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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We went to the beach and watched the dull grey waves slam the white shore.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘More remarkably, fish actually emerge from the ocean, riding high waves onto shore to spawn on the sandy beaches.’
    • ‘As he posed for photographs near the shore a huge wave knocked him from his perch and almost carried him out to sea.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Just listen to the song of the lark, the lapping of the waves on the shore.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The image of a pristine island - azure waves lapping at the shore, palm trees silhouetted in the setting sun - is synonymous with paradise.’
    • ‘The sound of the waves breaking on the shore is a fine way to fall asleep.’
    • ‘While the guys attempted to body surf the waves, the girls laid out on the sand to tan.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Huge waves slammed into the shores of remote, north-east coast village two weeks ago, destroying its thriving fishing industry.’
    • ‘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 only sound she could hear was the ocean waves crashing down on the sand.’
    • ‘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.’
    breaker, billow, roller, comber, ripple, white horse, white cap
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    1. 1.1 A ridge of water between two depressions in open water:
      ‘gulls and cormorants bobbed on the waves’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This powerful two-hander set on the open waves chilled me to the bone.’
      • ‘The tide slapped against the dock wall, and seagulls croaked as they bobbed on the waves, or flew above their heads.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The sun would be shimmering on the gently rolling waves and fishing boats would be bobbing in the water.’
      • ‘Clothing, bits and pieces of wood and fiberglass swirled and bobbed on the waves.’
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘Four rigid-inflatable boats then went after the merchant vessel, zipping across the waves until they pulled level on the starboard side.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They are light seaworthy craft without a keel which ride large ocean waves and skim up shallow rivers.’
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘After a short but thorough lesson on handling our craft we were away, bobbing through the gentle waves.’
      • ‘Once in the water, the upswept bow and flared sides allow it to handle waves while the shallow arc bottom provides stability.’
      • ‘I was first confused, then enraged, as he bobbed in the waves repeating his taunting question.’
      • ‘The superstructure was built atop several huge columns, criss-crossed with stabilising struts, protruding from the waves.’
      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’
      • ‘The plains spread out below beyond waves of barren ridges and Junagadh, too, was clearly visible.’
      • ‘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 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’
    • ‘Plans to lift prices earlier this year were postponed after a wave of protests.’
    • ‘This latest wave of violence is being looked at very closely.’
    • ‘Waves of energy arrive, waves upon waves of sadness, of despair.’
    • ‘And this latest wave of complaints about the behavior won't be the last.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Waves of immigrants began to flow into Mauritania in the third century AD.’
    • ‘Their plans sent the first wave of bright-eyed immigrants back to Palestine in 1881.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘Discussions with school officials indicate that waves of immigration differ for the ethnic groups.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The immigration waves that have shaped so much of the city's personality have created a series of villages.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But the enduring depression led to a wave of negative equity.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Less restraint was shown in bygone days, when shark attacks sometimes inspired mass waves of indiscriminate killing.’
    • ‘Kris burst into a fresh wave of sobs as she collapsed in Mike's arms.’
    • ‘In a dynamic, innovative economy, these forces unleash waves upon waves of change.’
    • ‘But I'll tell you, it hasn't stopped this wave of illegal immigration.’
    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’
    • ‘His every step all day was taken to applause acknowledged with a thumbs-up gesture, a wave, a nod.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Mr. Krupp made a dismissive wave of his hand, as if to quiet his wife.’
    • ‘From the opening handshake to the final wave, Tabby did most of the talking and came across as a genuinely charming character.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘However he did say a brief hello to everyone and had friendly waves and handshakes for all.’
    • ‘He gave me a small wave and walked back to his beat up little station wagon.’
    • ‘Seeing that Christian is now awake, Lucas gives a small wave, gesturing for the younger boy to open the window.’
    • ‘‘Your Majesty,’ she began, but he cut her off with a gesture, a wave of a hand that was clearly royal.’
    • ‘The bartender will acknowledge this with a similar gesture or a wave.’
    • ‘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 gesture with a wave of her own.’
    • ‘He shook hands and gave his typical wave and victory sign.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Then with a small wave, he walked down the hallway and out the door.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She acknowledged the kind gesture with a wave and a smile.’
    • ‘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.’
    gesture, gesticulation, hand movement
    View synonyms
  • 4A slightly curling lock of hair:

    ‘his hair was drying in unruly waves’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Dark raven locks fell in soft waves upon his shoulders.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Black, glossy waves of hair brushed her bare shoulders.’
    • ‘My super long (hip length) dark brown hair cascades out down my shoulders and back settling in waves and ringlets all about.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But Serena was already asleep, her hair cascading down in waves.’
    • ‘To avoid tangling and to maintain waves, cover hair with a bonnet at night.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He had waves in his hair, a nice deep chocolate color.’
    • ‘Her eyes seemed to glow bright amber, and her dark hair fell across her back and shoulders in unruly waves.’
    • ‘Her long platinum blond hair fell in large waves to the small of her back.’
    • ‘I made it a quick one, not the long soak I was dying to have, and dried my hair into soft waves.’
    • ‘Her sun-kissed shoulders peeked out from under the waves of tresses, obviously more than a few shades lighter than Rae's.’
    • ‘Everyone knew her hair dried in loose waves, which would shine from all of the delicate oils.’
    • ‘The woman chuckled and shook her head, her chestnut brown waves of hair falling over her shoulders.’
    • ‘His unruly dark waves of hair had been blowing across his forehead.’
    • ‘Anyway, I didn't quite succeed at getting those stupid waves out of my hair, so I tied it up.’
    • ‘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.’
    curl, kink, corkscrew, crimp, twist, twirl, ringlet, frizz, coil, loop, undulation
    View synonyms
    1. 4.1[in singular] A tendency to curl in a person's hair:
      ‘her hair has a slight natural wave’
      • ‘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’.’
      • ‘Sure, my outfit was great and my hair held a natural wave that I didn't want to mess with.’
      • ‘Standing at well over six feet, he had long, dark hair with a slight wave to it that just brushed his shoulders.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I have a slight wave in my hair so it looks choppy when it is roughly cut.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We finger-styled Tamara's hair fresh out of the shower, coaxing out the natural wave in her otherwise pin-straight hair.’
      • ‘Her hair was white-blonde with a slight wave and she had sky blue eyes.’
      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.

    • ‘Song production clearly involves some metabolic cost to a bird because energy is transmitted to the surroundings in the form of sound pressure waves.’
    • ‘Sound is a wave of compression and rarefaction in air.’
    • ‘This imbalance creates pressure waves which propagate through the early universe.’
    • ‘Only in three dimensions can waves propagate in an undistorted and reverberation-free fashion.’
    • ‘The flight tests showed by designing the aircraft to a specific shape, the pressure waves can be kept from merging.’
    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.
      • ‘Information lies in the frequency and amplitude of the waves recorded in different channels.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We know that radio waves and waves of all kinds of frequencies are constantly going through our bodies.’

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

Phrasal Verbs

  • wave something aside

    • Dismiss something as unnecessary or irrelevant:

      ‘he waved the objection aside and carried on’
      • ‘‘Whatever,’ Juliet said, waving their comments aside.’
      • ‘He'd waved them aside with the excuse that he must have caught a bug.’
      • ‘But I waved the thought aside, resolute in my decision.’
      • ‘He waved it aside, and looked back to the screen.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘With a shake of his head, Joe waved the statement aside.’
      • ‘She waved it aside, sending him an assuring smile.’
      • ‘He had been begging her to let him call a doctor for the past few days, but she just kept waving his concerns aside.’
      • ‘The man himself is, however, quick to wave the formalities aside.’
      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’
      • ‘Near the stalled car, a dark figure stood in the middle of the road, shoulders hunched against the weather; waving her down.’
      • ‘Regular commuters to Dublin can also wave the bus down along the route each morning and they will be picked up.’
      • ‘One morning, when all the boxes were visible, and even with one lady waving the lorry down, the dustmen just laughed and drove on.’
      • ‘As we closed with them one man tried to wave us 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.’
      • ‘Last week I was driving along Churchview in Bessbrook when a bloke waved me down.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Jade waved them down and they stopped, amazingly.’
      • ‘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/