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 teenager whom Mikanowski depicts waving an ancient Hungarian flag at the border city of Esztergom may well live across the border in Slovakia, where lawmakers recently proposed that the Hungarian national anthem be banned at soccer games. Harper's magazine, "Letters," 16 Sep. 2019 Hundreds of school children lined the streets of La Crescenta and La Cañada Flintridge on Wednesday morning, waving small American flags as a procession of vehicles commemorated the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Andy Nguyen, Glendale News-Press, "Crescenta Valley parade honoring 9/11 victims rolls into its seventh year," 11 Sep. 2019 Dozens have been arrested for waving the Amazigh (or Berber) flag at demonstrations. The Economist, "The army and the people face off in Algeria," 29 Aug. 2019 In 2016, Taiwanese K-pop star Chou Tzu-yu made a public apology for waving the Taiwanese flag while appearing on a South Korean television show. Fortune, "Chinese Pop Stars Publicly Back Beijing on Hong Kong," 19 Aug. 2019 Students donned rainbow apparel and accessories and waved rainbow flags at their season-opening football game. Arika Herron, Indianapolis Star, "Catholic school controversy: Rainbow streamers welcome back Cathedral students," 8 Aug. 2019 Franco banned many inherently Catalonian and Spanish practices during his rule from 1939 to 1975, such as speaking the Catalun language, waving the Catalonian flag, and observing Catalonia’s national holiday, Diada. National Geographic, "These death-defying human towers build on Catalan tradition," 31 July 2019 More than 100 members of Hartford’s Puerto Rican community marched in circles, carrying signs, banging pots and pans, singing songs and waving the flag of their homeland Tuesday evening at the intersection of Park and Washington streets. Tess Vrbin, courant.com, "Hartford’s Puerto Rican community rallies against Gov. Rosselló," 23 July 2019 On the front page of the Jan. 21 Sun, a drawing of the Oriole bird, who would normally have been despondent after the O’s lost to Boston, 6-5, was instead smiling and waving an American flag. Chris Kaltenbach, baltimoresun.com, "The moon landing had The Sun’s attention in 1969," 19 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Poshmark had been one of several e-commerce companies looking to go public this year amid a wave of IPOs that included two online retailers in June. Liana Baker, Fortune, "Fashion Reseller Poshmark Delays IPO," 4 Sep. 2019 Outrage over mass shootings is growing and gun safety groups are ascendant, amid a wave of student activism that emerged from the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. New York Times, "Texas Shooting Brings New Urgency to Gun Debate in Congress," 1 Sep. 2019 In 2003, another wave of closures shuttered metro Kmart stores in Maple Grove, Red Wing, Shakopee and one in St. Paul’s Midway neighborhood. Deanna Weniger, Twin Cities, "Kmart shutters its last store in St. Paul, following city’s Sears, Walmart closings," 31 Aug. 2019 Manaea’s activation from the 60-day DL will be the first of a few waves of September moves the A’s may see. Shayna Rubin, The Mercury News, "Athletics’ Sean Manaea to start Sunday against New York Yankees," 31 Aug. 2019 The Springwoods Village location, designed by architecture firm Gensler, will be the second in a wave of Star Cinema Grills following the opening in Richmond in June. Katherine Feser, Houston Chronicle, "Retail wrap: Star Cinema Grill, Juicy Crawfish, Überrito continue Houston expansion," 30 Aug. 2019 The allegations against Holowka are part of a wave of similar reports of abuse being aired by many across the game industry this week. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Night in the Woods," 30 Aug. 2019 Burna Boy isn’t the first of this wave of Nigerian stars making huge inroads in the streaming era. Los Angeles Times, "Review: Burna Boy celebrates L.A.'s African diaspora at star-making Wiltern show," 30 Aug. 2019 Mr Henning lost to Rachael Rollins, one of a wave of DAs trying to reform the criminal-justice system from within. The Economist, "Real criminal-justice reform is local, and not easy," 29 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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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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