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brain wave

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noun
  1. Usually brain waves. Medicine/Medical. electrical potentials or impulses given off by brain tissue.Compare alpha rhythm, beta rhythm, delta rhythm.
  2. Informal. a sudden idea or inspiration; brainstorm.

Origin of brain wave

First recorded in 1865–70
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for brain wave

Historical Examples

  • But she replies, moved by a brain-wave, to a question that stirred in the doctor's mind.

    Somehow Good

    William de Morgan

  • The Countess had not asked; this was all brain-wave, helped by shades of expression.

    When Ghost Meets Ghost

    William Frend De Morgan

  • Finally as the result of a brain-wave he had requisitioned the local boy scouts.

    Mrs. Bindle

    Hebert Jenkins

  • My hair had appreciably lifted my tin hat when I had a brain-wave and threw out a double handful of rouble notes.

  • He had suffered during his military career from more than one subaltern on whose arid consciousness the brain-wave never beat.

    The Rough Road

    William John Locke


British Dictionary definitions for brain wave

brain wave

noun
  1. any of the fluctuations of electrical potential in the brain as represented on an electroencephalogram. They vary in frequency from 1 to 30 hertzSee also alpha rhythm, beta rhythm, delta rhythm
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

brain wave in Medicine

brain wave

n.
  1. A rhythmic fluctuation of electric potential between parts of the brain, as seen on an electroencephalogram.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.