[ 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

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use undulate in a sentence

  • When I scolded him, he undulated his silly yellow body, sprang upon his hind legs, and licked my hands.

    The Idyl of Twin Fires | Walter Prichard Eaton
  • After a breathless ascent of at least eight hundred feet, they reached the undulated, barren, rocky surface of a plateau.

    Overland | John William De Forest
  • It was an ample plain, whose colour was as yet indistinct, but which here and there undulated like the dunes of the seashore.

    The conquest of Rome | Matilde Serao
  • The outline of life, which changes under every respiration, seems to have undulated under the plastic mould of Phidias.

  • Argentine, a silvery-white slaty variety of calc-spar, containing a little silica with lamin usually undulated.

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