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

The 10,000 marchers, ranging from the elegant to the extraordinary, waved and shouted to those who jammed the sidewalks. Shelby Grad, latimes.com, "From gay bashing to AIDS to same-sex marriage, L.A. pride parade reflects hopes, dreams and despairs," 9 June 2019 Brennaman waved from his radio booth as fans gave him a standing ovation. Bobby Nightengale, Cincinnati.com, "Jay Bruce visits with his former Cincinnati Reds teammates: 'I wish those guys the best'," 9 June 2019 The 4-year-old royal excitedly waved to the crowd with both hands during the iconic flypast in a move that mimicked big brother Prince George’s double wave to the cameras during the royal family’s visit to Canada in October 2016. PEOPLE.com, "Princess Charlotte Has Mastered Big Brother Prince George's Royal Double Wave," 8 June 2019 Wearing a blue hat, the Duchess of Sussex waved to thousands of people who had gathered along the Mall in London to watch the spectacle, in which more than 200 horses, 400 musicians and 1,400 officers are taking part. Max Foster, CNN, "Meghan at Trooping the Colour in first royal engagement since giving birth," 8 June 2019 When Meghan waved, some eagle-eye fans quickly zoomed in on her hands. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle Wears Third Ring With Her Wedding and Engagements Bands at Trooping the Colour," 8 June 2019 Samir Hussein—WireImage/Getty Images Princess Charlotte, 4, waved to the crowds, while Prince George, 5 — usually the king of being hammy — didn’t necessarily get in on the action. Rachel E. Greenspan, Time, "Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis Are Clearly the Most Amusing Spectacle at the Trooping the Colour 2019," 8 June 2019 Third base coach Brian Butterfield waved Rizzo around, but Rizzo got pegged at the plate without sliding. Teddy Greenstein, chicagotribune.com, "Cole Hamels dominates as Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez spark the Cubs offense to a 3-1 victory over the Cardinals," 7 June 2019 The lawn will wave red, white and blue with 875 flags honoring Ohioans who gave their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan since Sept. 11, 2001. cleveland.com, "School recycling project combines education, fun and pride: Olmsted Dates and Data," 7 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Frequently found in third-wave coffee shops, on top of wedding cakes or alongside mid-century modern furniture in millennial-chic apartments, succulents are ubiquitous enough to be considered a design cliche. Antonia Noori Farzan, The Denver Post, "Popular succulents are being stolen from California parks and sold on the black market," 12 June 2019 The study included a beach monitoring program and models of wave activity in Cook Inlet. Devin Kelly, Anchorage Daily News, "Point Woronzof shrinking an average of 2 feet each year, UAA researchers and students find," 12 June 2019 The boy and the unicorn were initially stationed on the sand before a strong wave pulled them in the water. Scottie Andrew And Brian Ries, CNN, "A boy on a unicorn float drifted half a mile out to sea in North Carolina," 11 June 2019 Theaters nationwide, including just one in Connecticut, will have a one-time-only screening of a documentary about a legendary big-wave surfer. Susan Dunne, courant.com, "Big-wave surfing doc ‘Heavy Water’ showing one-night only," 10 June 2019 Astronomers may face a long wait for Spektr-RG’s successors: the ultraviolet telescope Spektr-UV and Spektr-M, a millimeter-wave radio telescope. Daniel Clery, Science | AAAS, "Telescope designed to study mysterious dark energy keeps Russia’s space science hopes alive," 10 June 2019 Early in the second half, fans started a wave throughout the stadium — a sight that, more often than not, comes when games are practically already won. Ashley Scoby, Pro Soccer USA, "France delights sellout crowd in Paris with 4-0 win over South Korea in World Cup opener," 9 June 2019 These changes may reduce the migrant wave from Central America, which reached as many as 1,500 people a day in late May. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Paying for Mexico’s Wall," 9 June 2019 Her chignon has become slightly more elaborate as the years go on, a departure from the loose waves that marked her earlier appearances. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Kate Middleton Was Easy to Spot in a Striking Yellow Hat for 2019's Trooping the Colour," 8 June 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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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

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