wave

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wave / wāv/ • v. 1. [intr.] move one's hand to and fro in greeting or as a signal: he waved to me from the train. ∎  [tr.] move (one's hand or arm, or something held in one's hand) to and fro: he waved a sheaf of papers in the air. ∎  move to and fro with a swaying or undulating motion while remaining fixed to one point: the flag waved in the wind. ∎  [tr.] convey (a greeting or other message) by moving one's hand or something held in it to and fro: we waved our farewells | she waved him goodbye. ∎  [tr.] instruct (someone) to move in a particular direction by moving one's hand: he waved her back.2. [tr.] style (hair) so that it curls slightly: her hair had been carefully waved for the evening. ∎  [intr.] (of hair) grow with a slight curl: [as adj.] (waving) thick, waving gray hair sprouted back from his forehead. • n. 1. a long body of water curling into an arched form and breaking on the shore. ∎  a ridge of water between two depressions in open water: gulls and cormorants bobbed on the waves. ∎  a shape seen as comparable to a breaking wave: a wave of treetops stretched to the horizon. ∎  (usu. the wave) an effect resembling a moving wave produced by successive sections of the crowd in a stadium standing up, raising their arms, lowering them, and sitting down again. ∎  (the waves) poetic/lit. the sea. ∎  an intense burst of a particular feeling or emotion: horror came over me in waves a new wave of apprehension assailed her. ∎  a sudden occurrence of or increase in a specified phenomenon: a wave of strikes had effectively paralyzed the government.2. a gesture or signal made by moving one's hand to and fro: he gave a little wave and walked off.3. a slightly curling lock of hair: his hair was drying in unruly waves. ∎  a tendency to curl in a person's hair: her hair has a slight natural wave.4. Physics a periodic disturbance of the particles of a substance that may be propagated without net movement of the particles, such as in the passage of undulating motion, heat, or sound. See also standing wave and traveling wave. ∎  a single curve in the course of this motion. ∎  a similar variation of an electromagnetic field in the propagation of light or other radiation through a medium or vacuum.PHRASES: make waves inf. create a significant impression: he has already made waves as a sculptor. ∎  cause trouble: I don't want to risk her welfare by making waves.PHRASAL VERBS: wave something aside dismiss something as unnecessary or irrelevant: he waved the objection aside and carried on.wave someone/something down use one's hand to give a signal to stop to a driver or vehicle.DERIVATIVES: wave·less adj.wave·like adj. & adv.

wave

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wave In physics, carriers of energy from place to place. Waves are caused by disturbances that result in some sort of oscillation. These oscillations then spread out (propagate) as waves. The velocity depends on the type of wave and on the medium. Electromagnetic waves, such as light, consist of varying magnetic and electric fields vibrating at right angles to each other and to the direction of motion; they are transverse waves. Sound waves are transmitted by the vibrations of the particles of the medium itself, the vibrations being in the direction of wave motion; they are longitudinal waves. Sound waves, unlike electromagnetic waves, cannot travel through a vacuum or undergo polarization. Both types of waves can undergo reflection and refraction, and give rise to interference phenomena. A wave is characterized by its wavelength and frequency, the velocity of wave motion being the product of wavelength and frequency. See also electromagnetic radiation; polarized light; wave amplitude; wave frequency

wave

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wave A periodic disturbance in a solid, liquid, or gas as energy is transmitted through the medium. (Electromagnetic waves e.g. light, can be transmitted through a vacuum.) In water, waves may occur either at the surface or as internal waves. The size of the water wave varies from minute capillary waves to massive tsunami, while wave period ranges from a few seconds to several hours.

wave

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wave2 movement in an extent of water by which a portion of it rises above the general level. XVI. alt., by assoc. with WAVE1, of ME. †wawe, earlier waze, rel. to OE. wagian, ME. wawe, sway to and fro, wave (cf. WAG1).
Hence wavy (-Y1) XVI.

wave

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wave1 move to and fro, shake or sway as with the wind. The word in the above senses as at present used is not clearly evident before XVI; not certainly continuous with OE. wafian (recorded twice) make a movement to and fro with the hands, corr. to MHG. waben wave, undulate, f. Gmc. *wab̌-, repr. also by ON. vafi doubt, uncertainty, and WAVER.

wave

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wave In oceanography, moving disturbance travelling on or through water, but that does not move the water itself. Wind causes waves by frictional drag. Waves not under pressure from strong winds are called swells. Waves begin to break on shore or ‘feel bottom’ when they reach a depth shallower than half the wave's length. When the water depth is about 1.3 times the wave height, the wave front is so steep that the top falls over and the wave breaks.