undulation

noun
un·​du·​la·​tion | \ ˌən-jə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce undulation (audio) , ˌən-dyə-, ˌən-də- \

Definition of undulation

1a : a rising and falling in waves
b : 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
2 : the pulsation caused by the vibrating together of two tones not quite in unison
3 : a wavy appearance, outline, or form : waviness

Examples of undulation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The movements of snakes have long been classified into four types: concertina locomotion, lateral undulation, rectilinear locomotion, and sidewinding. Tess Joosse, Science | AAAS, "Guam’s invasive tree snakes loop themselves into lassos to reach their feathered prey," 11 Jan. 2021 Digital models revealed that aerial undulation served several purposes. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Use 3D Modeling To Find Out How This Snake Can Fly," 26 July 2020 The snakes use aerial undulation, which is composed of horizontal and vertical waves. Sarah Brookbank, The Enquirer, "Flying snakes are trending because scientists figured out how they do it. Don't worry, they're not here.," 1 July 2020 The team had a basic understanding of undulation thanks to the work of study author Jake Socha, who has been studying the snakes for around 20 years, said Yeaton. Jack Guy, CNN, "Snakes can glide through the air -- and this is how," 30 June 2020 With it, the researchers have run virtual experiments to investigate aerial undulation. Fox News, "Mystery of how flying snakes move is solved by scientists," 29 June 2020 The Atlas's ride quality, previously called out by other editors for its unique ability to alternate from harsh around town to soft and wallowy over large undulations at speed, also seemed magnified under heavy cargo loads. Andrew Wendler, Car and Driver, "Our VW Atlas Nears the End of its Test: Is it Love or Hate?," 9 Mar. 2020 For example, giant undulations in airflows like the jet stream, called Rossby waves, are quickly canceled out by other waves of different amplitudes and frequencies. Paul Voosen, Science | AAAS, "Why does the weather stall? New theories explain enigmatic ‘blocks’ in the jet stream," 5 Mar. 2020 Even on its optional 22-inch wheels (21s are standard), the GLE63 S deftly soaks up midcorner bumps and undulations without feeling brittle. Scott Oldham, Car and Driver, "2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S Defines Muscle-Bound Refinement," 28 Feb. 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of undulation

1646, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about undulation

Time Traveler for undulation

Time Traveler

The first known use of undulation was in 1646

See more words from the same year

Statistics for undulation

Last Updated

26 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Undulation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/undulation. Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

More from Merriam-Webster on undulation

Nglish: Translation of undulation for Spanish Speakers

Comments on undulation

What made you want to look up undulation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!