Main definitions of wow in English

: wow1wow2

wow1

(also wowee)

exclamation

informal
  • Expressing astonishment or admiration.

    ‘‘Wow!’ he cried enthusiastically’
    • ‘Imagine two cute guys chasing after you in real life wowee… lol!’
    • ‘I can't say that there was anything about his voice that made me go ‘Oh wow!’’
    • ‘From our seats we can even peer out the window from time to time and see the mountain ski resorts near Sante Fe New Mexico and Salt Lake City Utah, wow!’
    • ‘That's going to pretty awesome if it goes ahead… 6 months in England… wow!’
    • ‘If we could all live like that, if we all had the strength of no fear… wow!’
    • ‘We wrote, phoned, e-mailed and then met, and wow!’
    • ‘Hey Eric, shall I tell everyone what we talked about on the way down - fascinating conversation about Supply Chain Management, wow!’
    • ‘The salmon steak ($9 - wow!) was well-cooked and blended perfectly with the sweet homemade chutney.’
    • ‘I've gone through all this grief and pain and now I feel like… wow!’
    • ‘Now, I'd never heard his name until the defamation trial began but wow!’
    • ‘I never expected him to be so tall, and those broad muscular shoulders, wow!’
    • ‘I know it's a little longer than normal since my last update (2 days, wow!) but I didn't get round to updating yesterday.’
    • ‘It could be like chocolate cake that you've never tasted and then suddenly, wow!’
    • ‘They're fiercely varietal: just one variety in each wine and as for the sheer concentration of fruit and perfume - wow!’
    • ‘Well, I was driving, keeping eyes on the road, and put a hand into the old margarine dish on my lap, when I picked up a piece of cucumber and a potato crisp at the same time, popped them into my mouth and wow!’
    • ‘Mark, all I can say is congratulations, good luck and wow!’
    • ‘I knew it was different to the usual formulaic melodic guitars they adopted (with great success I might add) for their first three albums, but wow!’
    • ‘Treat it like a date: book dinner, organise champagne for the room and… wow!’
    • ‘Your newsletter is so cool, I thought you were cool before but now… wow!’
    • ‘A crown rests on her pale head which appears entirely devoid of hair, not a beauty by today's standards, but during the 15th century… wow!’

noun

informal
  • A sensational success.

    ‘your play's a wow’
    • ‘As the game progressed, Celtic began to control the exchanges, but some clever rearguard actions defused some promising Celtic wows, in which Ian Farrell and Tom Butler were prominent.’
    • ‘People do want to find that unique gift, something that will give a real wow!’
    • ‘Each will be scrutinized by the coaching staff after Grant Noel and Jason Davis failed to produce many wows during the spring.’
    • ‘Something just felt… too easy… about spinning last year's woes and wows into next year's resolutions.’
    success, box-office success, sell-out, winner, triumph, sensation
    View synonyms

verb

[with object]informal
  • Impress and excite (someone) greatly.

    ‘they wowed audiences on their recent British tour’
    • ‘Deirdre wowed the judges with her natural beauty, fantastic personality and general warmth as a person.’
    • ‘The young man soon finds he can stay on the ship by playing the piano, after proving himself a genius on the instrument and wowing the captain.’
    • ‘Aspiring student designers wowed the audience with their creations at a spectacular fashion show in Selby Abbey.’
    • ‘The group is used to wowing audiences with acts such as spinning one another in the air from suspended strips of cloth, but the school opted for some less dangerous activities.’
    • ‘They wowed the crowds with a motorcycle, high dive and car show.’
    • ‘Lemar, who came third in the reality TV show competition, will be wowing the audience with songs, including the tune Lullaby which he composed along with fellow contestant Ainsley.’
    • ‘The multitalented, balding star wowed the crowd, so expect him to pop up in New York sometime soon.’
    • ‘One minute he's performing in a musical, the next he's in a television drama, and the next he's wowing audiences with live cabaret.’
    • ‘And youngsters from Commonweal School were victorious, with two winning poems, which wowed the judges.’
    • ‘Since 1995 they've been wowing audiences with a crossover style combining their operatic training with Irish folk.’
    • ‘How a group with this much energy can remain so synchronized is a marvel, but what really wows is that they seem also to be having the time of their lives doing it.’
    • ‘His mid-90s fastball wows fans, but the natural movement on his fastball and slider are behind his improvement this spring.’
    • ‘After wowing the audience at the Willows club in Salford, he is in with a chance of winning the £5,000 grand final on November 16.’
    • ‘Having performed at Just for Laughs in '97 and '98, he's back to take another crack at wowing audiences.’
    • ‘I love pretending I'm in the competition, wowing the crowds every night.’
    • ‘The singers took turns wowing the audience with popular film songs.’
    • ‘While the role of visuals is undeniable, another vital part of what wows people and helps sell them on a game is the quality of information available about it - which is clearly related to the supporting publicity.’
    • ‘Yet he is fast becoming one of the most sought-after acts in America, wowing the crowds as he plummets through the air from an altitude of 5,000 ft.’
    • ‘Many singers are still wowing their fans and at the same time growing old gracefully.’
    • ‘She was one of the youngest children to perform at the Globe Theatre in Blackpool in March, and is looking forward to wowing the audience at the Albert Halls this month.’
    entertain, make laugh, delight, divert, gladden, cheer, cheer up, please, charm, tickle, convulse, beguile, enliven, regale
    View synonyms

Origin

Natural exclamation: first recorded in Scots in the early 16th century.

Pronunciation

wow

/waʊ/

Main definitions of wow in English

: wow1wow2

wow2

noun

mass noun
  • Slow pitch fluctuation in sound reproduction, perceptible in long notes.

    Compare with flutter (sense 1 of the noun)
    • ‘The CD ends on a wow note, with Enough, a deep and beautiful piece.’
    • ‘Unlike ‘Within the Golden Hour,’ ‘Changes’ doesn't end on a wow note but instead recapitulates its opening scene, as the curtain falls.’

Origin

1930s: imitative.

Pronunciation

wow

/waʊ/