WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
wave /weɪv/USA pronunciation n., v., waved, wav•ing.

n. [countable]
  • Oceanographya moving ridge or swell on the surface of water:The ocean waves crashed against the rocks.
  • a movement of the hand, as in greeting:gave us a wave and a smile.
  • a movement or part resembling a wave:a wave in her hair.
  • a sudden surge or rush, as of a feeling; esp., a widespread, typically surging feeling, attitude, opinion, tendency, belief, activity, etc.:felt a wave of nausea;
    a crime wave.
  • a period of unusually hot or cold weather:a heat wave.
  • Physics[Physics.]a disturbance sent out or across from one point to another in a medium or space, without progress or advance by the points themselves, as in the transmission of sound or light:a sound wave; a light wave;
    electromagnetic waves.

  • v. 
  • to (cause to) move back and forth or up and down: [no object]flags waving in the wind.[+ object]They waved their arms.
  • to signal, esp. in greeting, by raising the hand and moving the fingers: [no object]He waved to us in greeting.[+ object]He waved his hand in greeting.
  • [+ object] to curve back and forth in opposite directions:to wave one's hair.
  • idiom
    1. Idioms, Informal Termsmake waves, [Informal.]to create a disturbance:tried not to make waves when things were going well.

    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

    wave /weɪv/ vb
    1. to move or cause to move freely to and fro: the banner waved in the wind
    2. (intransitive) to move the hand to and fro as a greeting
    3. to signal or signify by or as if by waving something
    4. (transitive) to direct to move by or as if by waving something: he waved me on
    5. to form or be formed into curves, undulations, etc
    6. (transitive) to set waves in (the hair)
    1. one of a sequence of ridges or undulations that moves across the surface of a body of a liquid, esp the sea: created by the wind or a moving object and gravity
    2. any undulation on or at the edge of a surface reminiscent of such a wave: a wave across the field of corn
    3. the wavesthe sea
    4. anything that suggests the movement of a wave, as by a sudden rise: a crime wave
    5. a widespread movement that advances in a body: a wave of settlers swept into the country
    6. the act or an instance of waving
    7. an oscillation propagated through a medium or space such that energy is periodically interchanged between two kinds of disturbance. For example, an oscillating electric field generates a magnetic oscillation and vice versa, hence an electromagnetic wave is produced. Similarly a wave on a liquid comprises vertical and horizontal displacements
    8. a graphical representation of a wave obtained by plotting the magnitude of the disturbance against time at a particular point in the medium or space; waveform
    9. a prolonged spell of some weather condition: a heat wave
    10. an undulating curve or series of curves or loose curls in the hair
    11. make wavesto cause trouble; disturb the status quo
    Etymology: Old English wafian (vb); related to Old High German weban to weave, Old Norse vafra; see waver; C16 (n) changed from earlier wāwe, probably from Old English wǣg motion; compare wag1

    ˈwaveless adj ˈwaveˌlike adj

    'wave' also found in these entries:

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