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

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
\ 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

Synonyms: Noun (1)

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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 So the red-clad, towel-waving ticket holders arrived at Nationals Park on Sunday with the modest expectation of watching Washington carry a 3-2 Series lead back to Houston. David Ginsburg, courant.com, "Nationals fans adjust expectations after skid, Scherzer news," 27 Oct. 2019 Masses of flag-waving demonstrators demanding Catalonia’s independence and the release from prison of separatist leaders jammed downtown Barcelona on Friday as the northeastern Spanish region endured its fifth straight day of unrest. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Barcelona mayor calls for violence in Catalonia to stop," 19 Oct. 2019 And the new phone comes with motion-sensing technology that allows people to do simple hand-waving gestures to skip songs or switch apps without touching the phone. Rachel Lerman, SFChronicle.com, "Google Pixel 4 phone, wireless earbuds with AI debut," 15 Oct. 2019 The stage was perfect for them: Sunny, warm conditions in a stadium filled out with cheering, flag-waving kids from local schools. Foster Niumata, Houston Chronicle, "Argentina qualifies for 2023 Rugby World Cup with win over US," 9 Oct. 2019 Sanders' debt-waving health care platform aims to alleviate financial and physical stress, as does his plan to cancel all student debt and make public universities and HBCU's tuition free. Cara Korte, CBS News, "Emotional town halls become centerpiece of Bernie Sanders' campaign," 27 Sep. 2019 In that culture war politicians who sympathise with the party conflate flag-waving patriotism with legitimacy. The Economist, "China’s demand for undivided loyalty is causing tragedy in Hong Kong," 26 Sep. 2019 China’s leaders plan to celebrate 70 years of Communist Party rule on Oct. 1 with a huge military parade showcasing tanks and missiles, a pageant of flag-waving youths, and a speech by party General Secretary Xi Jinping. Ann Scott Tyson, The Christian Science Monitor, "As China's National Day approaches, Hong Kong protests cast a shadow," 17 Sep. 2019 In 2001, six days after 9/11, stock prices nosedived but stopped short of collapse in an emotional, flag-waving reopening of Wall Street; the Dow Jones industrial average ended the day down 684.81 at 8,920.70. orlandosentinel.com, "Today in history: September 17," 16 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The air was getting chill, not quite freezing over, and somewhere to the west of us a wave of rage was washing up on the machinery of the season. Daniel Poppick, Harper's magazine, "Rumors," 16 Sep. 2019 During a recent visit, waves of light cast the gnarled branches of blue oak trees into relief. Patricia Leigh Brown, New York Times, "A Light Safari in Wine Country," 15 Sep. 2019 Forever 21 is one of the biggest mall tenants still standing after a wave of bankruptcies in the retail sector that has seen more than 8,200 outlets close this year. Los Angeles Times, "Forever 21 plans to shut at least 100 stores in bankruptcy, sources say," 13 Sep. 2019 Sternschein says indie concert promoters need to start thinking collectively after the recent wave of consolidations, which includes Live Nation buying up indie promoters like Emporium Concerts and L.A.'s Spaceland Presents. Dave Brooks, Billboard, "Lonely Road: Indie Promoters Fight to Survive Amid Rising Talent Costs, Heated Competition With Majors," 12 Sep. 2019 Forever 21 is one of the biggest mall tenants still standing after a wave of bankruptcies in the retail sector. Fortune, "Forever 21 Prepares for Potential Bankruptcy," 11 Sep. 2019 Then came another wave of I’m-out-of-here exits by two top deputy agency heads, one of whom resigned, unresigned, then resigned again. Rubén Rosario, Twin Cities, "Rosario: Time to lower the hammer on the DHS leadership mess," 6 Sep. 2019 Forever 21 is one of the biggest mall tenants still standing after a wave of bankruptcies in the retail sector. Lauren Coleman-lochner, BostonGlobe.com, "Forever 21 prepares for potential bankruptcy filing," 29 Aug. 2019 America is again debating gun control after a recent wave of shootings — including one on August 3 at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas. Chris Isidore, CNN, "Dick's Sporting Goods is testing if it should stop selling guns," 20 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for wave

Last Updated

15 Nov 2019

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
How to pronounce Wave (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wave

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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

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