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 The two-photo slideshow featured an image of the couple waving from the balcony after their wedding, and a more recent shot of the two together. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Kate Middleton, Prince William and More Royals Mark Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip's Anniversary," 20 Nov. 2019 Bassam has been photographed waving his arms and pacing inside the buffer zone between the Turkish and Greek border posts. BostonGlobe.com, "ISIS Suspect Trapped at Turkish-Greek Border Is to Be Deported to U.S. - The Boston Globe," 15 Nov. 2019 The ceremony was broadcast on live TV, and captured the young prince smiling and waving in the procession up to the ceremony: Queen Elizabeth gifted him the Honours of the Principality of Wales, including a sword, ring, mantle, and coronet (crown). Katherine J Igoe, Marie Claire, "Did Prince Charles Go to Wales for a University Term, As 'The Crown' Depicts?," 11 Nov. 2019 Bastion is striking, with big, beautiful skies, banners realistically waving in the wind, and fascinating characters, like a humanoid, owl-like race that inhabits the zone. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "World of Warcraft: Shadowlands impressions: Leveling alts is about to get a lot more fun," 10 Nov. 2019 The Wright brothers patented their aircraft design and became so litigious that one of their rivals joked that a person jumping in the air and waving their arms would get sued. K.n.c., The Economist, "The value of freeing ideas, not just locking them up," 8 Nov. 2019 Director Lonny Price tries to infuse the farcical, bloody proceedings with antic comic energy, but his staging, including one scene in which the performers wave long, billowing white sheets to indicate paradise, feels forced more often than not. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Scotland, PA': Theater Review," 24 Oct. 2019 Wildcats everywhere, wave your hands up in the air because High School Musical: The Musical: The Series just got renewed for a second season, nearly a month ahead of its premiere on Disney+. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, ""High School Musical: The Musical: The Series" Renewed for a Second Season at Disney+," 19 Oct. 2019 After Williams was benched, he was seen heading to the locker room with a trainer momentarily to then come back out to the sideline, waving his arms in circles as if to regain feeling in his shoulders and throwing some warmup passes. David Furones, sun-sentinel.com, "N’Kosi Perry named Miami Hurricanes starting quarterback against Virginia," 9 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The result was a wave of outrage that pulsed through Catalan cities during a week of rioting. Washington Post, "How Catalonia Remains a Thorn in Spanish Politics," 26 Nov. 2019 If the result is a wave of friendships between co-workers, the effect could be great for employee engagement and productivity. Brianna Holt, Quartz at Work, "Can friendships between men and women at work promote gender equality?," 25 Nov. 2019 For months, there had been waves of people leaving the company. Sara Ashley O'brien, CNN, "Inside WeWork's week from hell: How the mass layoffs went down," 22 Nov. 2019 Amid a wave of Democratic victories in the 2018 congressional elections, Lauren Underwood’s triumph in Illinois’s Fourteenth District, outside Chicago, was among the most unlikely. Peter Slevin, The New Yorker, "Lauren Underwood’s Illinois District Considers Impeachment," 22 Nov. 2019 This wave of attacks came as the October 15 deadline for people who had filed for extensions approached. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Researchers see spike in “out of season” IRS-impersonating phishing attacks," 20 Nov. 2019 Around the same time, a man who appears to be Andrew waves from Epstein's New York mansion. Elizabeth Palmer, CBS News, "Prince Andrew says he has "no recollection" of meeting Epstein accuser," 15 Nov. 2019 Yesterday there were waves that seemed to be the seashore. Colleen Barry, Anchorage Daily News, "Venice ‘on its knees’ after second-worst king-tide flood ever recorded," 13 Nov. 2019 Unlike two years ago, there wasn’t a distinct red or blue wave in the local elections yesterday. courant.com, "Nov. 6, 2019: There’s a new mayor in town," 6 Nov. 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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Time Traveler for wave

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for wave

Last Updated

29 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Wave.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/waves. Accessed 10 December 2019.

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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

Comments on wave

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