wave

verb
\ ˈwāv \
waved; waving

Definition of wave

 (Entry 1 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to motion with the hands or with something held in them in signal or salute
2 : to float, play, or shake in an air current : move loosely to and fro : flutter flags waving in the breeze
3 of water : to move in waves : heave
4 : to become moved or brandished to and fro signs waved in the crowd
5 : to move before the wind with a wavelike motion field of waving grain
6 : to follow a curving line or take a wavy form : undulate

transitive verb

1 : to swing (something) back and forth or up and down
2 : to impart a curving or undulating shape to waved her hair
3a : to motion to (someone) to go in an indicated direction or to stop : signal waved down a passing car
b : to gesture with (the hand or an object) in greeting or farewell or in homage
c : to dismiss or put out of mind : disregard usually used with aside or off
d : to convey by waving waved farewell
4 : brandish, flourish waved a pistol menacingly

wave

noun (1)

Definition of wave (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : a moving ridge or swell on the surface of a liquid (as of the sea)
b : open water
2a : a shape or outline having successive curves
b : a waviness of the hair
c : an undulating line or streak or a pattern formed by such lines
3 : something that swells and dies away: such as
a : a surge of sensation or emotion a wave of anger swept over her
b : a movement sweeping large numbers in a common direction waves of protest
c : a peak or climax of activity a wave of buying
4 : a sweep of hand or arm or of some object held in the hand used as a signal or greeting
5 : a rolling or undulatory movement or one of a series of such movements passing along a surface or through the air
6 : a movement like that of an ocean wave: such as
a : a surging movement of a group a big new wave of women politicians
b : one of a succession of influxes of people migrating into a region
c(1) : a moving group of animals of one kind
(2) : a sudden rapid increase in a population
d : a line of attacking or advancing troops or airplanes
e : a display of people in a large crowd (as at a sports event) successively rising, lifting their arms overhead, and quickly sitting so as to form a swell moving through the crowd
7a : a disturbance or variation that transfers energy progressively from point to point in a medium and that may take the form of an elastic deformation or of a variation of pressure, electric or magnetic intensity, electric potential, or temperature
b : one complete cycle of such a disturbance
8 : a marked change in temperature : a period of hot or cold weather
9 : an undulating or jagged line constituting a graphic representation of an action

Wave

noun (2)
\ ˈwāv \

Definition of Wave (Entry 3 of 3)

: a member of the women's component of the U.S. Navy formed during World War II and discontinued in the 1970s

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Other Words from wave

Noun (1)

waveless \ ˈwāv-​ləs \ adjective
wavelessly adverb
wavelike \ -​ˌlīk \ adjective

Synonyms for wave

Synonyms: Verb

beckon, flag, gesture, motion, signal

Synonyms: Noun (1)

billow, surge, swell

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Choose the Right Synonym for wave

Verb

swing, wave, flourish, brandish, thrash mean to wield or cause to move to and fro or up and down. swing implies regular or uniform movement. swing the rope back and forth wave usually implies smooth or continuous motion. waving the flag flourish suggests vigorous, ostentatious, graceful movement. flourished the winning lottery ticket brandish implies threatening or menacing motion. brandishing a knife thrash suggests vigorous, abrupt, violent movement. an infant thrashing his arms about

Examples of wave in a Sentence

Verb

We waved to our friends through the window. She was waving in the direction of the bridge. Flags were waving in the breeze. The magician waved his magic wand. The leader of the parade waved a flag. It was so hot that we were all waving our hands in front of our faces to cool off.

Noun (1)

The waves crashed onto the rocks. She has a wave in her hair. Waves of warm air washed over us. We got a wave from the Queen. The rabbit disappeared with a wave of the magician's wand.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Charlotte was seen sticking out her tongue at the crowds below and waving frantically. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince William Nudging Kate Middleton Is the Most Relatable Thing We've Seen," 12 July 2018 From the slow-motion flag-waving to the copious explosions and visually incomprehensible CG action, the series has become the ultimate expression of Bay’s idiosyncratic style. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "Bumblebee proves Transformers movies can actually be resonant and emotional," 20 Dec. 2018 Most recently, an annual pass holder was banned from Walt Disney World after waving a Trump 2020 banner on Main Street, then doing it again on Splash Mountain. E.j. Dickson, Vox, "There’s a black market of limited-edition Disney park merch — and Disney is cracking down on it," 17 Dec. 2018 But others who want a smartwatch for the convenience of doing things like controlling smart lights from their wrists or checking into a flight by waving their wrist up to a reader won't get that with the Huawei Watch GT. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Huawei Watch GT review: When hardware and software don’t mesh," 16 Dec. 2018 Since the royal wedding, there has also been Trooping the Colour, where Meghan and Kate waved together from the Buckingham Palace balcony, Prince Louis’s christening on Monday and the Royal Air Force centenary celebration on Tuesday of this week. Maura Hohman, PEOPLE.com, "Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton Are Going on Their First Solo Outing Together!," 12 July 2018 The Indians were ready to concede the run when third-base coach Mike Jirschele put up the stop sign after initially waving Perez home. Pete Grathoff, kansascity, "Danny Duffy serves up slam as Royals fall to Indians, lose 60th game of season," 3 July 2018 The insider explained that Borrallo was standing next to Jackson, making silly faces and waving to get the kids' attention. Isabel Greenberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why the Royal Family Is Laughing in Prince Charles' Birthday Portraits," 20 Nov. 2018 In the Duke and Duchess’s wake, Australian republicans will certainly be hastily waving them off, while trying not to admit that really, their movement is drowning. Juliet Rieden, Town & Country, "Why Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Tour of Australia Is Crucial to the Future of the Monarchy," 1 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Her beauty look is sort of Sade before Sade: red lips, gold hoops, and a high tight ponytail that cascades down her back in loose waves. Vogue, "Who's the Best Beauty Muse for 2019? 11 Celebrity Icons for a Knockout Year Ahead," 5 Jan. 2019 Shortly after, Miley is seen rocking a large rock on her ring finger, beginning a wave of rumors regarding the couple's engagement. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "A Complete Timeline of Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth's Relationship," 27 Dec. 2018 That’s me in the waves holding onto a surfboard like a life preserver. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Microsoft is more valuable than Apple again. Why?," 30 Nov. 2018 Now data will come in waves, as the orbiters around Mars pass overhead, collect data, and beam it back to eager eyes on Earth. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "NASA's InSight Sticks Its Martian Landing," 26 Nov. 2018 At the same time, however, the kingdom has moved to silence perceived critics in waves of arrests targeting clerics, intellectuals and activists. Summer Said, WSJ, "Saudi Arabia Accused of Torturing Women’s-Rights Activists in Widening Crackdown on Dissent," 20 Nov. 2018 Apple is reportedly planning to introduce old devices into the repair program in waves. Jon Porter, The Verge, "Apple will reportedly launch a pilot program to repair devices as old as the iPhone 4S," 1 Nov. 2018 Samsung Everyone else must sign up for invitations to the beta, which will roll out in waves. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "How to install Fortnite on Android, and every phone that can play it," 13 Aug. 2018 Twitter has gone to great lengths to appease the right, and any purge, however justified, would result in waves of negative coverage from Fox News and the Drudge Report. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Is Twitter Good Now?," 13 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wave.' 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 wave

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Noun (1)

1526, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun (2)

1942, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for wave

Verb

Middle English, from Old English wafian to wave with the hands; akin to Old English wæfan to clothe and perhaps to Old English wefan to weave

Noun (2)

Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service

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Learn More about wave

Dictionary Entries near wave

Wausau

Wauwatosa

WAV

wave

Wave

wave analyzer

wave antenna

Statistics for wave

Last Updated

11 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wave

The first known use of wave was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for wave

wave

noun

Financial Definition of wave

What It Is

In investing, a wave is a pattern found in stock prices, technology, consumer trends or other areas. In technical analysis, the term often refers to Elliot Wave Theory.

How It Works

Elliot Wave Theory is a method for predicting stock prices by identifying certain trading patterns. Specifically, the theory states that markets move up in a series of five waves but move down in a series of three waves. The theory looks to investor psychology for key information.

Generally speaking, though, a "wave" is a term used to describe a new way of doing things. For example, Congress could pass new legislation to encourage "crowdfunding," which in turn could drive a new wave of startups who get their capital from online, fund-raising websites. The change could forever change the pathways through which capital reaches companies, and as a result more people may engage in the startup economy. This in turn could create markets for other crowdfunding websites, due diligence consulting firms, startup legal services and branding work.

Why It Matters

It's easy to see how investing ahead of waves could be extremely profitable. New waves can spur significant economic growth in certain sectors, and learning how to identify or predict waves accurately can lead to very good investment decisions.

Source: Investing Answers

wave

verb

English Language Learners Definition of wave

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to move your hand or something held in your hand usually in a repeated motion in order to signal or greet someone

: to float, shake, or move back and forth because of wind

: to move (something) back and forth

wave

noun

English Language Learners Definition of wave (Entry 2 of 2)

: an area of moving water that is raised above the main surface of an ocean, a lake, etc.

: something that has the shape or movement of a wave

: a usually repeated movement of your hand or of something held in your hand especially as a signal or greeting

wave

verb
\ ˈwāv \
waved; waving

Kids Definition of wave

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to move (as the hand) to and fro as a signal or in greeting
2 : to move (something) back and forth The Black Knight waved his lance weakly over our heads.— Jon Scieszka, Knights of the Kitchen Table
3 : to curve slightly Her hair waves naturally.
4 : to flutter with a rolling movement Flags waved in the wind.

wave

noun

Kids Definition of wave (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a moving ridge on the surface of water
2 : a waving motion a wave of the hand
3 : something that swells and dies away A wave of anger came over her.
4 : a rolling movement passing along a surface or through the air waves of grain
5 : a curving shape or series of curving shapes hair with waves
6 : a sudden increase in something a crime wave
7 : a motion that is somewhat like a wave in water and transfers energy from point to point sound waves

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wave

noun
\ ˈwāv \

Medical Definition of wave

1a : a disturbance or variation that transfers energy progressively from point to point in a medium and that may take the form of an elastic deformation or of a variation of pressure, electrical or magnetic intensity, electrical potential, or temperature
b : one complete cycle of such a disturbance
2 : an undulating or jagged line constituting a graphic representation of an action an electroencephalographic wave

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More from Merriam-Webster on wave

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wave

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wave

Spanish Central: Translation of wave

Nglish: Translation of wave for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wave for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wave

Comments on wave

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to gather or build up little by little

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