What does wave mean?

Definitions for wave

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word wave.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. wave, moving ridgenoun

    one of a series of ridges that moves across the surface of a liquid (especially across a large body of water)

  2. wavenoun

    a movement like that of a sudden occurrence or increase in a specified phenomenon

    "a wave of settlers"; "troops advancing in waves"

  3. wave, undulationnoun

    (physics) a movement up and down or back and forth

  4. wavenoun

    something that rises rapidly

    "a wave of emotion swept over him"; "there was a sudden wave of buying before the market closed"; "a wave of conservatism in the country led by the hard right"

  5. wave, waving, wafturenoun

    the act of signaling by a movement of the hand

  6. wavenoun

    a hairdo that creates undulations in the hair

  7. wave, undulationnoun

    an undulating curve

  8. wavenoun

    a persistent and widespread unusual weather condition (especially of unusual temperatures)

    "a heat wave"

  9. Waveverb

    a member of the women's reserve of the United States Navy; originally organized during World War II but now no longer a separate branch

  10. beckon, waveverb

    signal with the hands or nod

    "She waved to her friends"; "He waved his hand hospitably"

  11. brandish, flourish, waveverb

    move or swing back and forth

    "She waved her gun"

  12. roll, undulate, flap, waveverb

    move in a wavy pattern or with a rising and falling motion

    "The curtains undulated"; "the waves rolled towards the beach"

  13. curl, waveverb

    twist or roll into coils or ringlets

    "curl my hair, please"

  14. waveverb

    set waves in

    "she asked the hairdresser to wave her hair"

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. WAVEnoun

    Etymology: wæge , Saxon; waegh, Dutch; vague, French.

    The shore, that o’er his wave-worn basis bow’d. William Shakespeare.

    The waves that rise would drown the highest hill;
    But at thy check they flee, and when they hear
    Thy thund’ring voice, they post to do thy will. Henry Wotton.

    Amidst these toils succeeds the balmy night;
    Now hissing waters the quench’d guns restore;
    And weary waves withdrawing from the fight,
    Are lull’d, and pant upon the silent shore. Dryden.

    The wave behind impels the wave before. Alexander Pope.

    Luxuriant on the wave-worn bank he lay
    Stretch’d forth, and panting in the sunny ray. Alexander Pope.

    Thus it happens, if the glass of the prisms be free from veins, and their sides be accurately plane and well polished, without those numberless waves, or curls, which usually arise from sand-holes a little smoothed in polishing with putty. Newton.

  2. To Waveverb

    Etymology: from the noun.

    He had a thousand noses,
    Horns welk’d and wav’d like the enridged sea. William Shakespeare.

    They wav’d their fiery swords, and in the air
    Made horrid circles. John Milton.

    Æneas wav’d his fatal sword
    High o’er his head. Dryden.

    He beckoned to me, and, by the waving of his hand, directed me to approach the place where he sat. Addison.

    Some men never conceive how the motion of the earth below should wave one from a knock perpendicularly directed from a body in the air above. Thomas Browne, Vulg. Errours.

    Look with what courteous action
    It waves you to a more removed ground:
    But do not go with it. William Shakespeare.

    Stephen Skinner.

    He resolved not to wave his way upon this reason, that if he should but once, by such a diversion, make his enemy believe he were afraid of danger, he should never live without. Henry Wotton, Life of the Duke of Buckingham.

    These, waving plots, found out a better way;
    Some god descended, and preserv’d the play. Dryden.

    I have wav’d the subject of your greatness, to resign myself to the contemplation of what is more peculiarly yours. Dryden.

    Since she her interest for the nation’s wav’d,
    Then I who sav’d the king, the nation sav’d. Dryden.

  3. To Waveverb

    Etymology: from the noun.

    I may find
    Your warlike ensigns waving in the wind. Dryden.

    Messapus’ helm
    He laces on, and wears the waving crest. Dryden.

    A bloody arm it is, that holds a pine
    Lighted, above the capitol, and now
    It waves unto us. Ben Jonson, Catiline.

    They wave in and out, no way sufficiently grounded, no way resolved, what to think, speak, or write, more than only that because they have taken it upon them, they must be opposite. Richard Hooker, b. v.

    If he did not care whether he had their love or no, he wav’d indifferently ’twixt doing them neither good nor harm. William Shakespeare, Coriolanus.


  1. Wave

    Wave is a song written, produced and performed by Beck, issued as the first promotional single from his twelfth studio album Morning Phase. Although not released as an official single, the song peaked at number 28 on the Billboard rock chart.


  1. wave

    A wave is a disturbance or oscillation that travels through space and matter, accompanied by a transfer of energy. Wave motion transfers energy from one point to another, often with no permanent displacement of the particles of the medium—that is, with little or no associated mass transport. They consist, for example, of disturbances of air (sound waves), water (ocean waves), electromagnetic fields (light waves), and even matter itself (seismic waves).

Webster Dictionary

  1. Waveverb

    see Waive

  2. Waveverb

    to play loosely; to move like a wave, one way and the other; to float; to flutter; to undulate

  3. Waveverb

    to be moved to and fro as a signal

  4. Waveverb

    to fluctuate; to waver; to be in an unsettled state; to vacillate

  5. Waveverb

    to move one way and the other; to brandish

  6. Waveverb

    to raise into inequalities of surface; to give an undulating form a surface to

  7. Waveverb

    to move like a wave, or by floating; to waft

  8. Waveverb

    to call attention to, or give a direction or command to, by a waving motion, as of the hand; to signify by waving; to beckon; to signal; to indicate

  9. Waveverb

    an advancing ridge or swell on the surface of a liquid, as of the sea, resulting from the oscillatory motion of the particles composing it when disturbed by any force their position of rest; an undulation

  10. Waveverb

    a vibration propagated from particle to particle through a body or elastic medium, as in the transmission of sound; an assemblage of vibrating molecules in all phases of a vibration, with no phase repeated; a wave of vibration; an undulation. See Undulation

  11. Waveverb

    water; a body of water

  12. Waveverb

    unevenness; inequality of surface

  13. Waveverb

    a waving or undulating motion; a signal made with the hand, a flag, etc

  14. Waveverb

    the undulating line or streak of luster on cloth watered, or calendered, or on damask steel

  15. Waveverb

    fig.: A swelling or excitement of thought, feeling, or energy; a tide; as, waves of enthusiasm

  16. Wavenoun


  17. Etymology: [OE. waven, AS. wafian to waver, to hesitate, to wonder; akin to wfre wavering, restless, MHG. wabern to be in motion, Icel. vafra to hover about; cf. Icel. vfa to vibrate. Cf. Waft, Waver.]


  1. WAVE

    WAVE is the NBC-affiliated television station in Louisville, Kentucky. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 47 from a transmitter in New Albany, Indiana. Owned by Raycom Media, WAVE maintains studios on South Floyd Street in downtown Louisville. Syndicated programming seen on WAVE includes The Dr. Oz Show, America Now, Extra, Right This Minute and Ellen.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Wave

    wāv, n. a ridge on the surface of water swaying or moving backwards and forwards: (poet.) the sea: a state of vibration propagated through a system of particles: inequality of surface: a line or streak like a wave: an undulation: a rush of anything: a gesture.—v.i. to move like a wave: to play loosely: to be moved, as a signal: to fluctuate.—v.t. to move backwards and forwards: to brandish: to waft or beckon: to raise into inequalities of surface.—p.adj. Waved, showing a wavelike form or outline: undulating: (her.) indented: (nat. hist.) having on the margin a succession of curved segments or incisions.—n. Wave′-length, the distance between the crests of adjacent waves.—adj. Wave′less, free from waves: undisturbed.—n. Wave′let, a little wave.—adj. Wave′like.—ns. Wave′-line, the outline, path, of a wave: the surface of the waves: the line made by a wave on the shore; Wave′-loaf, a loaf for a wave-offering; Wave′-mō′tion, undulatory movement; Wave′-mould′ing (archit.), undulating moulding; Wave′-off′ering, an ancient Jewish custom of moving the hands in succession towards the four points of the compass in presenting certain offerings—opposed to the Heave-offering, in which the hands were only lifted up and lowered.—v.t. Wā′ver, to move to and fro: to shake: to falter: to be unsteady or undetermined: to be in danger of falling.—ns. Wā′verer; Wā′vering.—adv. Wā′veringly, in a wavering or irresolute manner.—n. Wā′veringness.—adjs. Wā′verous, Wā′very, unsteady.—n. Wave′son, goods floating on the sea after a shipwreck.—adj. Wave′-worn, worn or washed away by the waves.—ns. Wā′viness, the state or quality of being wavy; Wā′ving.—adj. Wā′vy, full of or rising in waves: playing to and fro: undulating.—Hot wave, Warm wave, a movement of heat or warmth onwards, generally eastward. [A.S. wafian, to wave; cf. Ice. vafra, to waver.]

Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms

  1. wave

    A formation of forces, including ships, craft, amphibious vehicles or aircraft, required to beach or land about the same time. Waves can be classified by function: scheduled, on-call, or non-scheduled. Waves can also be classified by type of craft, e.g., assault, helicopter, or landing craft.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. wave

    [from the Anglo-Saxon wæg]. A volume of water rising in surgesabove the general level, and elevated in proportion to the wind.

Suggested Resources

  1. wave

    Song lyrics by wave -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by wave on the Lyrics.com website.

  2. WAVE

    What does WAVE stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the WAVE acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. WAVE

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Wave is ranked #140157 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Wave surname appeared 119 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Wave.

    47.9% or 57 total occurrences were White.
    42.8% or 51 total occurrences were Black.
    5.8% or 7 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'wave' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #3111

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'wave' in Nouns Frequency: #792

  3. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'wave' in Verbs Frequency: #598

How to pronounce wave?

How to say wave in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of wave in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of wave in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of wave in a Sentence

  1. John Greenleaf Whittier:

    Through this broad street, restless ever, ebbs and flows a human tide, wave on wave a living river; wealth and fashion side by side; Toiler, idler, slave and master, in the same quick current glide.

  2. Massoud Mirkazemi:

    In the presidency it's the individual that is important. Political groups are not important. In reality, an individual can start a wave, whoever can start this wave will get votes. Ahmadinejad has started, and can start this wave.

  3. Yoweri Museveni:

    In this wave, the intensity of severe and critically ill Covid-19 patients and death is higher than what we experienced in the first wave, in the previous wave, it took us three to four months to get to the current state of critical and severe patients, while in the second wave it has taken us less than two weeks.

  4. John B. Gough:

    If you want to succeed in the world you must make your own opportunities as you go on. The man who waits for some seventh wave to toss him on dry land will find that the seventh wave is a long time a-coming. You can commit no greater folly than to sit by the road side until someone comes along and invites you to ride with him to wealth or influence.

  5. Michael Ryan:

    Cholera is still present and this is the classic situation where we've had a first big wave last year, and we fully expect another wave this year. That wave could be as large or potentially even larger.

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Translations for wave

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"wave." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 5 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/wave>.

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    call in an official matter, such as to attend court
    • A. abase
    • B. summon
    • C. render
    • D. elate

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