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 chiefly literary : water, sea … this our island in the wave— Charles Dickens The buccaneer on the wave might relinquish his calling and become … a man of probity and piety on land …— Nathaniel Hawthorne The sea was open to them, and they achieved their victories on the briny wave.The Book of Commerce by Sea and Land
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

Other Words from wave

Noun (1)

waveless \ ˈwāv-​ləs How to pronounce Wave (audio) \ adjective
wavelessly adverb
wavelike \ ˈwāv-​ˌlīk How to pronounce Wave (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 Led into the courtroom with his hands tied to his waist in shackles, John saw his sister and broke into a childlike smile, twisting his wrist to wave his hand. Doug Smith Senior Writer, Los Angeles Times, 28 Nov. 2021 If the bear approaches, throw sticks or rocks and wave your arms. Seamus Mcavoy, courant.com, 26 Nov. 2021 Pink confetti is shot into the sky as people hug each other and wave their pink #FreeBritney flags. Jennifer Zhan, Vulture, 12 Nov. 2021 Developers have been towing their ideas up to Orkney because the islands are home to the EMEC, dedicated to wave and tidal power, with a test site set up to trial blue-energy machines. Washington Post, 9 Nov. 2021 Time after time, 41,000 fans, most of them white, will rise and wave their arms in a chopping motion while whooping a faux Native battle cry. Kurt Streeter, New York Times, 29 Oct. 2021 The 2015 agreement made in Paris called on all parties in the conference to reduce greenhouse gas production and increase renewable types of energy like wind, solar and wave power. Corryn Wetzel, Smithsonian Magazine, 29 Oct. 2021 Taking a cue from last summer’s resilience, the Clippers did not wave a white flag. Andrew Greif, Los Angeles Times, 21 Oct. 2021 People wave from a bus after being released from Insein Prison in Yangon, Myanmar, on Monday. NBC News, 19 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Numbers aside, there's now a reassuring wave of torque that peaks at 2800 rpm and continues up to 4000 rpm, fattening up the midrange response. Eric Stafford, Car and Driver, 17 Nov. 2021 The people, broadly speaking, were evidently more than ready for this year’s wave of electro-Latino fusions. Los Angeles Times, 17 Nov. 2021 On today's episode of the 5 Things podcast: Is this the fifth COVID-19 wave? Taylor Wilson, USA TODAY, 16 Nov. 2021 What Amazon, Tesla, and Microsoft have come to represent is the third wave of conglomerates. Howard Yu, Forbes, 15 Nov. 2021 Ahead of the plenum, there has been a fresh wave of propaganda stressing Xi’s direct responsibility for recent national achievements. Washington Post, 5 Nov. 2021 In fact, Pattern 1080 was just one wave in a much larger surge of drug-resistant infantis — one that had been detected nearly a decade ago in Israel and was now circulating worldwide in countries as far apart as Italy, Peru and Vietnam. Bernice Yeung, ProPublica, 29 Oct. 2021 Even though the world has experienced tremendous change over the past two centuries, there has never been a wave of immigration out of the United States to Europe — or anywhere else for that matter. David Harsanyi, National Review, 25 Oct. 2021 Since the Taliban took over Afghanistan in August, there have been a wave of attacks against religious minorities across Asia by extremist groups. Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press, 25 Oct. 2021

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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Last Updated

1 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Wave.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wave. Accessed 1 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for wave

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

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

More from Merriam-Webster on 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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