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  1. (an exclamation of surprise, wonder, pleasure, or the like): Wow! Look at that!
verb (used with object)
  1. to gain an enthusiastic response from; thrill.
  1. an extraordinary success: His act is a real wow.
  2. excitement, interest, great pleasure, or the like: a car that will add some wow to your life.

Origin of wow1

1890–95; perhaps identical with Scots wow! exclamation of surprise or admiration


  1. Audio. a slow wavering of pitch in sound recording or reproducing equipment caused by uneven speed of the turntable or the tape.Compare flutter(def 12).
  2. Scot. and North England Dialect. a howl, wail, bark, whine, or mew.
verb (used without object)
  1. Scot. and North England Dialect. to howl, wail, bark, whine, or mew.

Origin of wow2

1800–10 for defs 2, 3; 1930–35 for def 1; imitative; the audio term is probably an independent formation
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for wowing

Contemporary Examples

British Dictionary definitions for wowing


  1. an exclamation of admiration, amazement, etc
  1. slang a person or thing that is amazingly successful, attractive, etc
  1. (tr) slang to arouse great enthusiasm in

Word Origin

C16: originally Scottish, expressive of surprise, amazement, etc


  1. a slow variation or distortion in pitch that occurs at very low audio frequencies in sound-reproducing systems, such as a record player, usually due to variation in speed of the turntable, etcSee also flutter (def. 14)

Word Origin

C20: of imitative origin


abbreviation for
  1. waiting on weather: used esp in the oil industry
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

Word Origin and History for wowing



1510s, Scottish interjection, a natural expression of amazement. "This old interjection had a new popularity in the early 1900s and again during the 1960s and later" [DAS].



"overwhelm with delight or amazement," 1924, American English slang, from wow (interj.). Related: Wowed; wowing. Used as a noun meaning "unqualified success" since 1920.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper