wave Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Meaning of “wave” in the English Dictionary

"wave" in British English

See all translations

waveverb [I or T]

uk   /weɪv/  us   /weɪv/
B1 to ​raiseyourhand and ​move it from ​side to ​side as a way of ​greeting someone, ​telling someone to do something, or ​addingemphasis to an ​expression: I waved to/at him from the ​window but he didn't ​see me. I was waving my ​hand like ​mad but he never ​oncelooked in my ​direction. She was so ​annoyed she wouldn't ​even wave us goodbye/wave ​goodbye to us. She waves her ​hands about/around a lot when she's ​talking.
wave sb away, on, etc.
to make a ​movement with ​yourhand that ​tells someone to ​move in a ​particulardirection: You'll have to ​wait till the ​policeman waves the ​car on. You can't just wave me away as if I were a ​child!

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

C1 to ​move from ​side to ​side, or to make something ​move like this while ​holding it in the ​hand: The ​corn waved ​gently in the ​summerbreeze. A ​crowd of ​peopleran down the ​street waving ​banners. He ​seems to ​think I can wave a ​magicwand and everything will be all ​right.

wavenoun [C]

uk   /weɪv/  us   /weɪv/
  • wave noun [C] (WATER)

B1 a ​raisedline of ​water that ​movesacross the ​surface of an ​area of ​water, ​especially the ​sea: At ​night, I ​listened to the ​sound of the waves breaking/​crashing against the ​shore.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • wave noun [C] (HAND MOVEMENT)

C2 the ​action of ​raisingyourhand and ​moving it from ​side to ​side as a way of ​greeting someone, etc.: Give Grandpa a wave.
  • wave noun [C] (BY A CROWD)

the Wave
US (UK Mexican wave) a wave-like ​movement made by a ​crowdwatching a ​sportsgame, when everyone ​stands and ​lifts up ​theirarms and then ​sits down again one after another: The ​crowd did the Wave.
  • wave noun [C] (ENERGY)

B2 the ​pattern in which some ​types of ​energy, such as ​sound, ​light, and ​heat, are ​spread or ​carried: radio waves

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • wave noun [C] (LARGE NUMBER)

C2 a ​larger than ​usualnumber of ​events of a ​similar, often ​bad, ​type, ​happening within the same ​period: a ​crime wave The ​country was ​swept by a wave ofprotests.
a new, second, etc. wave of sth
an ​activity that is ​happening again or is being ​repeated after a ​pause: A new wave of ​joblosses is ​expected this ​year.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

(Definition of wave from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"wave" in American English

See all translations

waveverb [I/T]

 us   /weɪv/
to ​raiseyourhand and move it from ​side to ​side as a ​greeting, or to get someone's ​attention or give ​information: [I] She ​leaned out the ​window and waved (good-bye). [M] As ​soon as we ​showedourpapers as journalists, the ​policeman waved us in (= moved his ​hand to ​allow us to go in).
If you wave something or something waves, you move it from ​side to ​side while ​holding it in the ​hand, or something ​else moves it in this way: [T] He was very ​excited and ​rushed into the ​room waving a ​piece of ​paper. [I] Flags waved in the ​breeze.

wavenoun [C]

 us   /weɪv/
  • wave noun [C] (WATER MOVEMENT)

a ​raisedmovement of ​waterrollingacross the ​surface esp. of the ​sea: We were so ​close we could ​hear the waves ​breaking on the ​beach.
A wave is also a ​suddenincrease in an ​activity or in the ​strength of a ​condition or ​feeling: A wave of ​emotionswept through her as she ​visited her ​hometown.
  • wave noun [C] (ENERGY FORM)

physics the ​continuous, ​repeatingpattern in which some ​types of ​energy, such as ​sound, ​light, and ​heat, are ​spread or ​carried: electromagnetic waves
  • wave noun [C] (MOVE)

a ​movement of ​yourraisedhand from ​side to ​side or up and down as a ​greeting or ​goodbye, or to get someone's ​attention or give ​information: She ​looked at him for a ​longtime, and then, with a wave of her ​hand, she was off.
(Definition of wave from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"wave" in Business English

See all translations

wavenoun [C]

uk   us   /weɪv/
a larger than usual ​number of ​events of a similar, often ​bad, ​type, ​happening within the same ​period: a wave of sth During the ​recession there was a wave of ​bankruptcies and ​massunemployment. a crime wave
the ​pattern in which some ​types of ​energy, such as ​sound, ​light, and ​heat, are ​spread or ​carried: light/sound/radio waves Large ​amounts of ​data is ​transmitted via ​light waves inside fiberoptic ​cables.
make waves
to do things that make ​peoplenotice you, often in a way that causes trouble: Sometimes, an ​employeefeels intimidated by ​workplace bullying, but, they don't want to make waves.
(Definition of wave from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of wave?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

“wave” in Business English

There, their and they’re – which one should you use?
There, their and they’re – which one should you use?
by ,
April 27, 2016
by Liz Walter If you are a learner of English and you are confused about the words there, their and they’re, let me reassure you: many, many people with English as their first language share your problem! You only have to take a look at the ‘comments’ sections on the website of, for example, a popular

Read More 

Word of the Day

cracker

a thin, flat, hard biscuit, especially one eaten with cheese

Word of the Day

bio-banding noun
bio-banding noun
April 25, 2016
in sport, grouping children according to their physical maturity rather than their age ‘When we’re grouping children for sports, we do it by age groups, but the problem is that, within those age groups, we get huge variations in biological age,’ said Dr Sean Cumming, senior lecturer at the University of Bath’s department for

Read More