brain wave



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

Nearby words

  1. brain swelling,
  2. brain teaser,
  3. brain trust,
  4. brain truster,
  5. brain up,
  6. brain's reflex,
  7. brain-damaged,
  8. brain-dead,
  9. brain-fever bird,
  10. brain-picking

Origin of brain wave

First recorded in 1865–70 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for brainwave

  • "It was a sort of second-sight—what they call a brainwave," Nick smiled.

    The Tragic Muse|Henry James
  • Thought exchange by "brainwave" is wonderful, even if we still need a little speech as auxiliary.

    The Brain|Alexander Blade

British Dictionary definitions for brainwave



informal a sudden inspiration or ideaAlso called: brainstorm

brain wave


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

Medicine definitions for brainwave

brain wave


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.