1 noun
wave1 S3 W2


[countable]HEO a line of raised water that moves across the surface of the sea:
Dee watched the waves breaking on the shore.
A powerful tidal wave (=very large wave) struck Jamaica, killing 2000.
the white crests of the waves


[countable usually singular] a sudden increase in a particular type of behaviour, activity, or feeling
a wave of anger/sympathy/relief etc
There was a wave of public sympathy for her when she died.
a wave of terror/fear/panic
A wave of panic spread through the crowd.
a wave of nausea/dizziness/tiredness
A wave of nausea swept over me.
a wave of violence/attacks/bombings
the recent wave of terrorist bombings
the latest crime wave to hit New York

people and things

[countable] a sudden increase in the number of people or things arriving at the same time
wave of
a new wave of immigrants
They faced wave after wave of fresh troops.

light and sound

[countable]TPHP the form in which some types of energy such as light and sound travel long wave, medium wave, short wave


[countable usually singular] a movement in which you raise your arm and move your hand from side to side:
He dismissed her with a wave of the hand.
6 [countable] a feeling or activity that happens again and again in a series:
The pain swept over him in waves.
Wave after wave of aircraft passed overhead.


[countable usually plural]DCB a loose curl in your hair

make waves

informal to cause problems, especially when you should not:
With so many jobs already cut, he didn't want to make waves.

new wave

a new style of music, art, film etc that is very different and unusual:
new wave music
new wave of
the new wave of Black feminist theorists
10 [countable usually singular] American English an occasion when many people who are watching an event stand up, move their arms up and down, and sit down again one after another in a continuous movement that looks like a wave moving on the sea [= Mexican wave British English]

the waves

literaryALHEO the sea

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