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.

    WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2015
    wave  (wāv), 
    n., v., waved, wav•ing. 

  • Oceanographya disturbance on the surface of a liquid body, as the sea or a lake, in the form of a moving ridge or swell.
  • any surging or progressing movement or part resembling a wave of the sea:a wave of the pulse.
  • a swell, surge, or rush, as of feeling or of a certain condition:a wave of disgust sweeping over a person; a wave of cholera throughout the country.
  • a widespread feeling, opinion, tendency, etc.:a wave of anti-intellectualism; the new wave of installment buying.
  • a mass movement, as of troops, settlers, or migrating birds.
  • an outward curve, or one of a series of such curves, in a surface or line;
  • an act or instance of waving.
  • a fluttering sign or signal made with the hand, a flag, etc.:a farewell wave.
  • natural waviness of the hair, or a special treatment to impart waviness:to have a wave in one's hair; to get a shampoo and a wave.
  • a period or spell of unusually hot or cold weather.
  • Physics[Physics.]a progressive disturbance propagated from point to point in a medium or space without progress or advance by the points themselves, as in the transmission of sound or light.
  • [Literary.]
    • water.
    • a body of water.
    • the sea.
  • (at sports events, esp. baseball games) a momentary standing and sitting back down by spectators in a sequential, lateral way to create, en masse, a wavelike effect visually.
  • make waves, [Informal.]to disturb the status quo;
    cause trouble, as by questioning or resisting the accepted rules, procedures, etc.:The best way to stay out of trouble at the office is not to make waves.

  • v.i. 
  • to move freely and gently back and forth or up and down, as by the action of air currents, sea swells, etc.:The flags were waving in the wind.
  • to curve alternately in opposite directions; have an undulating form:The road waved along the valley.
  • to bend or sway up and down or to and fro, as branches or plants in the wind.
  • to be moved, esp. alternately in opposite directions:The woman's handkerchief waved in encouragement.
  • to give a signal by fluttering or flapping something:She waved to me with her hand.

  • v.t. 
  • to cause to flutter or have a waving motion in:A night wind waves the tattered banners.
  • to cause to bend or sway up and down or to and fro:The storm waved the heavy branches of the elm.
  • to give an undulating form to; cause to curve up and down or in and out.
  • to give a wavy appearance or pattern to, as silk.
  • to impart a wave to (the hair).
  • to move, esp. alternately in opposite directions:to wave the hand.
  • to signal to by waving a flag or the like;
    direct by a waving movement:to wave a train to a halt; to wave traffic around an obstacle.
  • to signify or express by a waving movement:to wave a last good-bye.
  • Etymology:1325–75; Middle English waven (verb, verbal), Old English wafian to wave the hands;
    cognate with Middle High German waben;
    compare waver1
    waveless, adj. 
    waveless•ly, adv. 
    waving•ly, adv. 
    wavelike′, adj. 
    1 . undulation, whitecap. Wave, ripple, breaker, surf refer to a ridge or swell on the surface of water. Wave is the general word:waves in a high wind.A ripple is the smallest kind of wave, such as is caused by a stone thrown into a pool:ripples in a brook.A breaker is a wave breaking, or about to break, upon the shore or upon rocks:the roar of breakers.Surf is the collective name for breakers:Heavy surf makes bathing dangerous.15 . undulate, flutter, float, sway, rock;

    Wave  (wāv), 

      a member of the Waves.
    • see Waves 1942

    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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