Cause a disturbance or controversy, as in We've finally settled our differences, so please don't make waves. This expression alludes to causing turbulence in the water. [Slang; mid-1900s] Also see rock the boat.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
How to use make waves in a sentence
But generally speaking, unless their personal ox is being gored, few young women seem willing to make waves.‘The Feminine Mystique’ at 50, Part 2: Three Feminists on What It Means Today | Jessica Bennett, Letty Cottin Pogrebin, Alisa Solomon | February 12, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
But journalists and media executives in this country who are protected by the First Amendment preferred not to make waves, either.
LinkedIn has been the stealth social network, but today it finally started to make waves.