un·​du·​la·​tion ˌən-jə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce undulation (audio)
: a rising and falling in waves
: a wavelike motion to and fro in a fluid or elastic medium propagated continuously among its particles but with little or no permanent translation of the particles in the direction of the propagation : vibration
: the pulsation caused by the vibrating together of two tones not quite in unison
: a wavy appearance, outline, or form : waviness

Examples of undulation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Watching the show feels like watching a snake, its gliding undulations mostly moving side to side but actually propelling the story forward. Margaret Lyons, New York Times, 8 Feb. 2024 Tens of millions frequently reside along the rain-snow line, which must react to its shifts and its undulations multiple times every winter. Jeff Halverson, Washington Post, 2 Jan. 2024 Neugebauer understands that the layer Jacobs-Jenkins is adding to the conventional undulations of melodrama — a family with damning secrets, a haunted estate on the brink of loss, a plot full of gaspy twists — is to turn its stock cutouts into people, catastrophic failings and all. Sara Holdren, Vulture, 18 Dec. 2023 Charting the backscatter data, the Rutgers University PhD candidate traced the undulations of migrating marine life. WIRED, 9 Dec. 2023 Whereas a perfectly flat icy belly would form a protective layer of cold water, preventing warmer seawater from eating away at the ice shelf, these undulations lead to more movement of water. WIRED, 7 Nov. 2023 Hugging the shore of Lake Superior, the course leads runners along gentle undulations of Scenic Route 61 from Two Harbors to Duluth’s bustling Canal Park district. Martin Fritz Huber, Outside Online, 15 Apr. 2016 The undulation of brightly outfitted devotees was directed into an orderly line, and Flyana Boss posed for pictures filled with peace signs, hugs and dancing. Samantha Chery, Washington Post, 9 Oct. 2023 In Israel, on the southern edge of the Neanderthal range, a wooded rise of limestone issues abruptly out of the Mediterranean below Haifa, ascending in an undulation of hills. James Shreeve, Discover Magazine, 11 Nov. 2019 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'undulation.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1646, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of undulation was in 1646

Dictionary Entries Near undulation

Cite this Entry

“Undulation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/undulation. Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


un·​du·​la·​tion ˌən-jə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce undulation (audio)
: the action of undulating
: a wavy appearance or form : waviness

More from Merriam-Webster on undulation

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