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microwave

[mahy-kroh-weyv]
noun
  1. an electromagnetic wave of extremely high frequency, 1 GH3 or more, and having wavelengths of from 1 mm to 30 cm.
  2. microwave oven.
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verb (used without object), mi·cro·waved, mi·cro·wav·ing.
  1. to use a microwave oven.
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verb (used with object), mi·cro·waved, mi·cro·wav·ing.
  1. to cook, defrost, or otherwise prepare in a microwave oven.
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Origin of microwave

First recorded in 1930–35; micro- + wave
Related formsmi·cro·wave·a·ble, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

bakezapheatnukemelt

Examples from the Web for microwaves

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • There were microwaves of strictly standard amplitude, for measurement-standards.

    The Aliens

    Murray Leinster

  • Air became a high-resistance conductor comparable to nichrome wire, when and where the projector sent its microwaves.

    The Pirates of Ersatz

    Murray Leinster


British Dictionary definitions for microwaves

microwave

noun
    1. electromagnetic radiation in the wavelength range 0.3 to 0.001 metres: used in radar, cooking, etc
    2. (as modifier)microwave generator
  1. short for microwave oven
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verb (tr)
  1. to cook in a microwave oven
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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 microwaves

microwave

n.

type of electromagnetic wave, 1931, coined in English from micro- + wave (n.). First record of microwave oven is from 1961; microwave as short for this is attested from 1974; as a verb, from 1976.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

microwaves in Medicine

microwave

(mīkrə-wāv′, -krō-)
n.
  1. A high-frequency electromagnetic wave, one millimeter to one meter in wavelength, intermediate between infrared and shortwave radio wavelengths.
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v.
  1. To cook or heat using microwaves.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

microwaves in Science

microwave

[mīkrō-wāv′]
  1. An electromagnetic wave with a frequency in the range of 100 megahertz to 30 gigahertz (lower than infrared but higher than other radio waves). Microwaves are used in radar, radio transmission, cooking, and other applications. Microwaves are generated naturally by many astronomical phenomena and are found in cosmic background radiation. See more at electromagnetic spectrum.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

microwaves in Culture

microwaves

Electromagnetic waves with a wavelength on the order of a few inches. Microwaves are longer than infrared radiation and shorter than radio waves. Microwaves are used extensively for communication, both in satellite television and for the transmission of long-distance telephone signals. In a microwave oven, food is cooked by the heat generated when the water in the food absorbs microwaves.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.