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transverse wave

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noun Physics.
  1. a wave in which the direction of displacement is perpendicular to the direction of propagation, as a surface wave of water.
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Origin of transverse wave

First recorded in 1920–25
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for transverse wave

transverse wave

noun
  1. a wave, such as an electromagnetic wave, that is propagated in a direction perpendicular to the direction of displacement of the transmitting field or mediumCompare longitudinal wave
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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

transverse wave in Science

transverse wave

  1. A wave that oscillates perpendicular to the axis along which the wave travels. Electromagnetic waves are transverse waves, since the electric and magnetic fields oscillate at a right angle to the direction of motion. Waves in bodies of water are also transverse waves, since the molecules of water oscillate up and down perpendicular to the direction of the wave's motion. Compare longitudinal wave. See more at wave.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.