wave

verb
\ ˈwāv How to pronounce wave (audio) \
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 How to pronounce Wave (audio) \

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 How to pronounce waveless (audio) \ adjective
wavelessly adverb
wavelike \ -​ˌlīk How to pronounce wavelike (audio) \ 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

Over the past decade, the idea that the higher-education bubble is about to burst has been waved away as headline pessimism or conservative sour grapes over the leftward drift of college faculties. Allen C. Guelzo, WSJ, "America’s Disappearing Private Colleges," 21 Feb. 2019 The couple were waved off by the excitable and adorable pageboys and flower girls wearing Spanish label La Oca Loca; the girls in organdy and lace white dresses and flowered espadrilles and the boys in linen tops and shorts. Vogue, "California Dreamers: Hayley Bloomingdale’s Stylish Santa Barbara Wedding," 26 Nov. 2018 They could be waved away as the harmless indulgences of an old man, acceptably enamored with the bloom of youth. Dana Snitzky, Longreads, "Hemingway’s Last Girl," 12 July 2018 But Saint Patrick’s Day didn’t start out as 24 hours of raucous, shamrock-waving revelry. Jill Gleeson, Country Living, "Here's the Real History of St Patrick's Day," 15 Mar. 2019 But the best cameo in the end was the toddler who waved at the audience the entire time he was carried up and down the runway by his mom who modeled for Marine Serre this past September. Vogue, "Vogue Editors on Their Favorite Runway Cameos of the Year," 30 Dec. 2018 As the Duchess got situated in her seat, Fergie was caught on camera waving at someone from across St. George's Chapel. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Sarah Ferguson Was Caught Goofing Around at Princess Eugenie's Wedding Today," 12 Oct. 2018 In the States, nobody’s going to stand there and wave at you. Sarah Khan, Condé Nast Traveler, "Driving On Her Own in Saudi Arabia," 17 Aug. 2018 The troopers did not pull over, at which point Disbro drove alongside the troopers and yelled and waved his hand at them, DPS said. Brieanna J Frank, azcentral, "DPS: Man impersonating officer arrested after attempting to pull over troopers," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

My waves are now so much more uniform all around my head without looking too polished. Erin Reimel, Glamour, "I Got a Perm (Yes, a Perm) in Search of Perfect Beach Waves," 23 Mar. 2019 The phase-out of the federal tax credit—and the wave of orders that Tesla could see over the weekend—is sure to add pressure to deliver as many cars as possible before the end of the year, guaranteeing the company another hectic end of the quarter. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Tesla sets Monday deadline for 2018 delivery—and $7,500 tax credit," 12 Oct. 2018 The three-year-old also flaunted her royal wave during Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal wedding last spring, while climbing the steps to St. George's Chapel with other members of the bridal party (and their moms). Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton Channeled Princess Charlotte's Signature Royal Wave," 20 Mar. 2019 The Voice coach added, prompting a continuous wave of cheers and clapping. Blair Donovan, Country Living, "Kelly Clarkson Sang With Police Officers at Her Concert and the Response Was So Powerful," 23 Feb. 2019 The literature of ancient America is mostly lost to us today, except for a few scattered remnants of poems, histories and myths that survived the onslaught of European contact and its waves of cultural destruction. David Stuart, WSJ, "‘The Popol Vuh’ Review: A New World Epic," 1 Feb. 2019 Fine, wavy hair usually doesn’t have enough thickness in the fiber to really hold its natural waves, so shorter lengths and more layers are better, Livermore says. Amy Marturana, SELF, "17 Styling Tricks Women with Fine, Flat Hair Need to Know," 21 Dec. 2018 Princess Charlotte usually makes headlines for her royal waves and silly faces. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Princess Charlotte Looks Identical to Princess Diana's Niece Lady Kitty Spencer," 26 Nov. 2018 From this latest moment of drugstore glam to her off-duty Veronica waves, the Riverdale star is always trying something new. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Camila Mendes Wore Eos Holiday Lip Balm as Blush at the People’s Choice Awards," 13 Nov. 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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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 How to pronounce wave (audio) \
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 How to pronounce wave (audio) \

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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