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undulate

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adjective un·du·late \ˈən-jə-lət, ˈən-dyə-, ˈən-də-, -ˌlāt\
variants: or

undulated

play \ˈən-jə-ˌlā-təd, ˈən-dyə-, ˈən-də-\

Definition of undulate

  1. :  having a wavy surface, edge, or markings the undulate margin of a leaf

undulate was our Word of the Day on 09/13/2012. Hear the podcast!

Origin and Etymology of undulate

Latin undulatus, from *undula, diminutive of unda wave — more at water


2

undulate

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verb un·du·late \ˈən-jə-ˌlāt, ˈən-dyə-, ˈən-də-\

Definition of undulate

undulated

;

undulating

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to form or move in waves :  fluctuate

  3. 2 :  to rise and fall in volume, pitch, or cadence

  4. 3 :  to present a wavy appearance

  5. transitive verb
  6. :  to cause to move in a wavy, sinuous, or flowing manner

Make Waves With the History of Undulate

Undulate and "inundate" are word cousins, sharing "unda," the Latin word for "wave," as their common ancestor. No surprise there. But would you have guessed that "abound," "surround," and "redound" are also "unda" offspring? The connection between "unda" and these words is easier to see when you learn that at some point in their early histories each of them essentially had the meaning of "to overflow"-a meaning that "inundate" still carries, along with its "overwhelm" sense.

Origin and Etymology of undulate

Late Latin undula small wave, from Latin *undula

Synonym Discussion of undulate

swing, sway, oscillate, vibrate, fluctuate, waver, undulate mean to move from one direction to its opposite. swing implies a movement of something attached at one end or one side. the door suddenly swung open sway implies a slow swinging or teetering movement. trees swaying in the breeze oscillate stresses a usually regular alternation of direction. an oscillating fan vibrate suggests the rapid oscillation of an elastic body under stress or impact. the vibrating strings of a piano fluctuate suggests constant irregular changes of level, intensity, or value. fluctuating interest rates waver stresses irregular motion suggestive of reeling or tottering. the exhausted runner wavered before collapsing undulate suggests a gentle wavelike motion. an undulating sea of grass

UNDULATE Defined for English Language Learners

undulate

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verb

Definition of undulate for English Language Learners

  • : to move or be shaped like waves


UNDULATE Defined for Kids

undulate

play
verb un·du·late \ˈən-jə-ˌlāt, -də-, -dyə-\

Definition of undulate for Students

undulated

;

undulating

  1. :  to move in or as if in a wavy or flowing way The curtains were streamers, undulating from the breeze … — Gail Carson Levine, Ella Enchanted

Word Root of undulate

The Latin word unda, meaning “wave,” gives us the root und. Words from the Latin unda have something to do with waves. To undulate is to move up and down like a wave. To inundate is to cover with a flood of waves. To surround, or encircle on all sides, is to enclose as if by waves. To abound is to be plentiful, like waves in the ocean.


Medical Dictionary

undulate

play play play
adjective un·du·late \ˈən-jə-lət, ˈən-d(y)ə-, -ˌlāt\

Medical Definition of undulate

  1. :  having a wavy surface, edge, or markings an undulate cell



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