verb \ ˈwāv \
|Updated on: 19 Aug 2018

Definition of waive

waived; waiving
1 archaic : give up, forsake
2 : to throw away (stolen goods)
3 archaic : to shunt aside (a danger or duty) : evade
4 a : to relinquish (something, such as a legal right) voluntarily
  • waive a jury trial
b : to refrain from pressing or enforcing (something, such as a claim or rule) : forgo
  • waive the fee
5 : to put off from immediate consideration : postpone
[influenced by 1wave]
: to dismiss with or as if with a wave of the hand
  • waived the problem aside
7 : to place (a ball player) on waivers; also : to release after placing on waivers

Examples of waive in a Sentence

  1. She waived her right to a lawyer.

  2. The university waives the application fee for low-income students.

Recent Examples of waive from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of waive

Middle English weiven to decline, reject, give up, from Anglo-French waiver, gaiver, from waif lost, stray — more at waif

Synonym Discussion of waive

relinquish, yield, resign, surrender, abandon, waive mean to give up completely. relinquish usually does not imply strong feeling but may suggest some regret, reluctance, or weakness.
    • relinquished her crown
yield implies concession or compliance or submission to force.
    • the troops yielded ground grudgingly
resign emphasizes voluntary relinquishment or sacrifice without struggle.
    • resigned her position
surrender implies a giving up after a struggle to retain or resist.
    • surrendered their claims
abandon stresses finality and completeness in giving up.
    • abandoned all hope
waive implies conceding or forgoing with little or no compulsion.
    • waived the right to a trial by jury

WAIVE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of waive for English Language Learners

  • : to officially say that you will not use or require something that you are allowed to have or that is usually required

WAIVE Defined for Kids


verb \ ˈwāv \

Definition of waive for Students

waived; waiving
: to give up claim to

Law Dictionary


transitive verb \ ˈwāv \

legal Definition of waive

waived; waiving
1 : to relinquish (as a right or privilege) voluntarily and intentionally
  • the defendant waived a felony hearing on the charge
  • National Law Journal
— compare forfeit, reserve
2 : to refrain from enforcing or requiring
  • some statutes waive the age requirement
  • —W. M. McGovern, Jr. et al.



Origin and Etymology of waive

Anglo-French waiver weiver, literally to abandon, forsake, from waif weif forlorn, stray, probably from Old Norse veif something loose or flapping

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fullness to the point of excess

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