undulate

adjective
un·​du·​late | \ ˈən-jə-lət How to pronounce undulate (audio) , ˈən-dyə-, ˈən-də-, -ˌlāt\
variants: or undulated \ ˈən-​jə-​ˌlā-​təd How to pronounce undulated (audio) , ˈən-​dyə-​ , ˈən-​də-​ \

Definition of undulate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

undulate

verb
un·​du·​late | \ ˈən-jə-ˌlāt How to pronounce undulate (audio) , ˈən-dyə-, ˈən-də-\
undulated; undulating

Definition of undulate (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to form or move in waves : fluctuate
2 : to rise and fall in volume, pitch, or cadence
3 : to present a wavy appearance

transitive verb

: to cause to move in a wavy, sinuous, or flowing manner

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Choose the Right Synonym for undulate

Verb

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

Make Waves With the History of Undulate

Verb

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.

Examples of undulate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Low walls edging apartment terraces will undulate across the facade of 1 River Park, a 15-story condominium tower that will rise in Cobble Hill. Jane Margolies, New York Times, "Terraces to Look At and Linger On," 26 Apr. 2018 Inside my apartment, the hardwood floors undulated like waves from the water buildup. Lonnie Firestone, Glamour, "It Took a Fire in My Building to Understand Marie Kondo's Method," 15 Jan. 2019 The hills, gold and green with grains and legumes, undulate without pattern or rhythm; every bend in the road reconfigures the landscape in unpredictable ways, leaving you feeling just a bit off kilter, in a perpetual low-level swoon. Matthew Kronsberg, WSJ, "A Getaway to the ‘Tuscany of America’," 27 July 2018 Also, the community somewhat undulates around, so most of the houses don’t face other houses. Sean Elder, Town & Country, "The War of The Grosses: Inside the Bitter Divorce Battle of the Laguna Beach "Bond King"," 22 Oct. 2018 As the voice of a young boy sings a treble solo, Calvin Richardson begins a slow, swirling solo, often dropping to the floor, then propelling himself back up with curving, undulating momentum. Roslyn Sulcas, New York Times, "Review: An American in London (Bernstein, That Is)," 16 Mar. 2018 His vocal melodies climb, stab and undulate in appealing and memorable ways. John Adamian, courant.com, "Andrew McMahon To Play The Webster Theater," 2 June 2018 Somehow, the score undulated among jazz, blues, classical, Chinese, Indian and West African idioms with surprising ease and persuasiveness. Howard Reich, chicagotribune.com, "Chicago Jazz Philharmonic delivers urgent message with 'Chicago Immigrant Stories'," 15 June 2018 Sheer cliffs jut out over the landscape and distant hills and mountains undulate on the horizon. Peter Marteka, courant.com, "Hikers, Are You Up To The Challenge Of These 14 Trails?," 15 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'undulate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of undulate

Adjective

1658, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1664, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for undulate

Adjective

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

Verb

Late Latin undula small wave, from Latin *undula

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Time Traveler for undulate

The first known use of undulate was in 1658

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More Definitions for undulate

undulate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of undulate

formal : to move or be shaped like waves

undulate

verb
un·​du·​late | \ ˈən-jə-ˌlāt How to pronounce undulate (audio) , -də-, -dyə-\
undulated; undulating

Kids Definition of undulate

: 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

undulate

adjective
un·​du·​late | \ ˈən-jə-lət How to pronounce undulate (audio) , ˈən-d(y)ə- How to pronounce undulate (audio) , -ˌlāt How to pronounce undulate (audio) \

Medical Definition of undulate

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on undulate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with undulate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for undulate

Spanish Central: Translation of undulate

Nglish: Translation of undulate for Spanish Speakers

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