brain wave

[ breyn-weyv ]
See synonyms for: brain wavebrain waves on

  1. Usually brain waves .Medicine/Medical. an electrical impulse given off by brain tissue, occurring at a frequency that varies according to mental state or activity, such as the slow waves associated with deep sleep and the fast waves associated with actively engaged thoughts and speech.: Compare alpha rhythm, beta rhythm, delta rhythm.

  2. Informal. a sudden idea or inspiration; brainstorm.

Origin of brain wave

First recorded in 1865–70 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use brain wave in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for brainwave (1 of 2)


/ (ˈbreɪnˌweɪv) /

  1. informal a sudden inspiration or idea: Also called: brainstorm

British Dictionary definitions for brain wave (2 of 2)

brain wave

  1. any of the fluctuations of electrical potential in the brain as represented on an electroencephalogram. They vary in frequency from 1 to 30 hertz: See 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