[ verb uhn-juh-leyt, uhn-dyuh-, -duh-; adjective uhn-juh-lit, -leyt, uhn-dyuh-, -duh- ]
See synonyms for: undulateundulating on Thesaurus.com

verb (used without object),un·du·lat·ed, un·du·lat·ing.
  1. to move with a sinuous or wavelike motion; display a smooth rising-and-falling or side-to-side alternation of movement: The flag undulates in the breeze.

  2. to have a wavy form or surface; bend with successive curves in alternate directions.

  1. (of a sound) to rise and fall in pitch: the wail of a siren undulating in the distance.

verb (used with object),un·du·lat·ed, un·du·lat·ing.
  1. to cause to move in waves.

  2. to give a wavy form to.

  1. Also un·du·lat·ed . having a wavelike or rippled form, surface, edge, etc.; wavy.

Origin of undulate

First recorded in 1650–60; from Latin undulātus waved, equivalent to und(a) “wave” + -ul(a)-ule + -ātus -ate1

Other words from undulate

  • un·du·la·tor, noun
  • non·un·du·late, adjective

Words Nearby undulate

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use undulate in a sentence

  • "Built it this spring," he said, surveying his handiwork, which seemed to undulate as the cars swept past.

    In Search of the Unknown | Robert W. Chambers
  • But around and on every side of the retina undulate countless other rays that leave no impression upon it.

    Mysterious Psychic Forces | Camille Flammarion
  • A bold but popular authoress was severely rated lately for the passage, “made twilight undulate.”

    Jasper Lyle | Harriet Ward
  • Scarcely had the crier ceased to speak, when the crowd began to undulate like a serpent behind the line of soldiers.

    The Forty-Five Guardsmen | Alexandre Dumas
  • A violent east wind causes the tall heather, now of the color of dead leaves, to undulate like a peaceful sheet of water.

British Dictionary definitions for undulate


/ (ˈʌndjʊˌleɪt) /

  1. to move or cause to move in waves or as if in waves

  2. to have or provide with a wavy form or appearance

adjective(ˈʌndjʊlɪt, -ˌleɪt) undulated
  1. having a wavy or rippled appearance, margin, or form: an undulate leaf

Origin of undulate

C17: from Latin undulātus, from unda a wave

Derived forms of undulate

  • undulator, noun

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