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undulate

[verb uhn-juh-leyt, uhn-dyuh-, -duh-; adjective uhn-juh-lit, -leyt, uhn-dyuh-, -duh-] /verb ˈʌn dʒəˌleɪt, ˈʌn dyə-, -də-; adjective ˈʌn dʒə lɪt, -ˌleɪt, ˈʌn dyə-, -də-/
verb (used without object), undulated, undulating.
1.
to move with a sinuous or wavelike motion; display a smooth rising-and-falling or side-to-side alternation of movement:
The flag undulates in the breeze.
2.
to have a wavy form or surface; bend with successive curves in alternate directions.
3.
(of a sound) to rise and fall in pitch:
the wail of a siren undulating in the distance.
verb (used with object), undulated, undulating.
4.
to cause to move in waves.
5.
to give a wavy form to.
adjective
6.
Also, undulated. having a wavelike or rippled form, surface, edge, etc.; wavy.
Origin of undulate
1650-1660
1650-60; < Latin undulātus waved, equivalent to und(a) wave + -ul(a) -ule + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
undulator, noun
nonundulate, adjective
nonundulating, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for undulate
Historical Examples
  • Don't they look brave As they undulate—(undulate, mind you,From unda, a wave).

  • In the meadows I see her undulate—the black miner, the mole, continues her labours.

    The Bird Jules Michelet
  • Mrs. Hearty collapsed into a chair and began to undulate with mirth.

    Adventures of Bindle Herbert George Jenkins
  • The two lower lobes are very small; the lobes are undulate or entire.

    Forest Trees of Illinois Fuller George D.
  • I vow if her neck had been bare one could have seen it undulate beneath the skin.

    Simon the Jester William J. Locke
  • It began to undulate like the threads of a cobweb lifted by the wind.

  • For variety's sake the engineer made it undulate horizontally, like a great serpent flying over the earth.

  • The momentum of his jump carried him in a long swing, and he at once began to undulate himself to increase his swing.

  • Her eyes began to glitter more brilliantly, and her shape to undulate in freer curves.

    Elsie Venner Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
  • Moreover, the air has not only been made to undulate, but has had currents caused in it by the transit of the bodies.

British Dictionary definitions for undulate

undulate

/ˈʌndjʊˌleɪt/
verb
1.
to move or cause to move in waves or as if in waves
2.
to have or provide with a wavy form or appearance
adjective (ˈʌndjʊlɪt; -ˌleɪt)
3.
having a wavy or rippled appearance, margin, or form: an undulate leaf
Derived Forms
undulator, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin undulātus, from unda a wave
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 undulate
v.

1660s, from undulation. Related: undulated, undulating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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