- producing a muted, bawling sound like that of a trumpet with the hand moved momentarily over the bell: a wah-wah effect on a synthesizer; a guitar with a wah-wah pedal.
- a sound or effect like the muted sound of a trumpet, especially in music.
- an electronic device or attachment to produce such a sound, often used with an electric guitar.
Origin of wah-wah
Examples from the Web for wa-wa
Several forks, into which the river is divided, unite to the west of Wa-wa.Three Years in Western China
Merry laughter often broke at the clumsy efforts of white mans tongue to imitate Indian wa-wa (talk).Wigwam and War-path; Or the Royal Chief in Chains
A. B. (Alfred Benjamin) Meacham
A good many of the worst knocked about were talking a bit wild, but I never heard the guy with the Chinook wa-wa again.Sea-Hounds
Lewis R. Freeman
- the sound made by a trumpet, cornet, etc, when the bell is alternately covered and uncovered: much used in jazz
- an electronic attachment for an electric guitar, etc, that simulates this effect
Word Origin and History for wa-wa
1926, in jazz slang, in reference to the effect on brass instruments made by manipulating the mute; of imitative origin. Later also in reference to an electric guitar effect. As an imitation of the sound of a baby crying, it is recorded from 1938. Wah-wah pedal is recorded from 1969. Cf. Chinook jargon wawa "talk, speak, call, ask, sermon, language;" Cree (Algonquian) wehwew "goose," Lenape (Algonquian) wava "snow goose," all probably of imitative origin.