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new wave

a movement, trend, or vogue, as in art, literature, or politics, that breaks with traditional concepts, values, techniques, or the like.
(often initial capital letters) a group of leaders or representatives of such a movement, especially of French film directors of the late 1950s and early 1960s.
Compare nouvelle vague.
(often initial capital letters) a largely minimalist but emotionally intense style of rock music, being an outgrowth of punk rock in the late 1970s, typified by spare or repetitive arrangements, and emphasizing energetic, unpolished performance.
Origin of new wave
First recorded in 1955-60
Related forms
new-wave, adjective
newwaver, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for new wave
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There was a new wave and impulse of scholarship, which had not yet reached them.

    The Normans Sarah Orne Jewett
  • Another letter at the end of May shows him on the crest of a new wave of enthusiasm.

    James Geikie Marion I. Newbigin
  • Every new wave that lifted us up seemed bigger than the last.

  • From Catalonia to Scandinavia he listened for every new wave in the ocean of music.

    Romain Rolland Stefan Zweig
  • We were not quick enough in negotiating this new wave; it ran along the gunwale and gave us a good foot-bath (Illustration 78).

British Dictionary definitions for new wave

new wave

a movement in art, film-making, politics, etc, that consciously breaks with traditional ideas

New Wave1

the New Wave, a movement in the French cinema of the 1960s, led by such directors as Godard, Truffaut, and Resnais, characterized by a fluid use of the camera and an abandonment of traditional editing techniques Also known as La Nouvelle Vague

New Wave2

rock music of the late 1970s, related to punk but more complex: sometimes used to include punk
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
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Word Origin and History for new wave

New Wave

1960, of cinema (from French Nouvelle Vague, late 1950s); 1976 as a name for the more restrained and melodic alternative to punk rock.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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