1a long body of water curling into an arched form and breaking on the shore:he was swept out to sea by a freak wave
a ridge of water between two depressions in open water:gulls and cormorants bobbed on the waves
a shape regarded as resembling a breaking wave:a wave of treetops stretched to the horizon
(the waves) literary the sea.
2a sudden occurrence of or increase in a phenomenon, feeling, or emotion:a wave of strikes had paralysed the governmentfear came over me in waves
3a gesture or signal made by moving one’s hand to and fro:he gave a little wave and walked off
4a slightly curling lock of hair:his hair was drying in unruly waves
[in singular] a tendency to curl in a person’s hair:her hair has a slight natural wave
5 Physics a periodic disturbance of the particles of a substance which 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 travelling wave.
a single curve in the course of a periodic disturbance of the particles of a substance.
a periodic variation of an electromagnetic field in the propagation of light or other radiation through a medium or vacuum.
1 [no object] move one’s hand to and fro in greeting or as a signal:he waved to me from the train
[with object] 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
[with object] convey (a greeting or other message) by waving one’s hand or something held in it:we waved our farewells [with two objects]:she waved him goodbye
[with object and adverbial of direction] instruct (someone) to move in a particular direction by moving one’s hand:he waved her back
2 [no object] move to and fro with a swaying motion while remaining fixed to one point:the flag waved in the wind
3 [with object] style (hair) so that it curls slightly:her hair had been carefully waved for the evening
[no object] (of hair) grow with a slight curl: (as adjective waving)thick, waving grey hair sprouted back from his forehead
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
wave something aside
dismiss something as unnecessary or irrelevant:he waved the objection aside and carried on
wave someone/thing down
use one’s hand to give a signal to stop to a driver or vehicle:he waved down a taxi and drove off