wave 1 of 2

as in swell
a moving ridge on the surface of water the toddler was almost knocked down by the waves created by the speedboat

Synonyms & Similar Words



2 of 2


as in to motion
to direct or notify by a movement or gesture waved them over to the side of the road

Synonyms & Similar Words

Synonym Chooser

How is the word wave distinct from other similar verbs?

Some common synonyms of wave are brandish, flourish, swing, and thrash. While all these words mean "to wield or cause to move to and fro or up and down," wave usually implies smooth or continuous motion.

waving the flag

In what contexts can brandish take the place of wave?

Although the words brandish and wave have much in common, brandish implies threatening or menacing motion.

brandishing a knife

When could flourish be used to replace wave?

The words flourish and wave are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, flourish suggests vigorous, ostentatious, graceful movement.

flourished the winning lottery ticket

When can swing be used instead of wave?

The words swing and wave can be used in similar contexts, but swing implies regular or uniform movement.

swing the rope back and forth

When is it sensible to use thrash instead of wave?

The meanings of thrash and wave largely overlap; however, thrash suggests vigorous, abrupt, violent movement.

an infant thrashing his arms about

Thesaurus Entries Near wave

Cite this Entry

“Wave.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/wave. Accessed 24 Sep. 2023.

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