Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

wa-wa

[wah-wah]
noun
  1. wah-wah.
Show More

wah-wah

or wa-wa

[wah-wah]
adjective
  1. 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.
Show More
noun
  1. a sound or effect like the muted sound of a trumpet, especially in music.
  2. an electronic device or attachment to produce such a sound, often used with an electric guitar.
Show More

Origin of wah-wah

First recorded in 1925–30; imitative
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for wa-wa

Historical Examples of wa-wa

  • Several forks, into which the river is divided, unite to the west of Wa-wa.

    Three Years in Western China

    Alexander Hosie

  • Merry laughter often broke at the clumsy efforts of white mans tongue to imitate Indian wa-wa (talk).

  • 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


British Dictionary definitions for wa-wa

wah-wah

noun
  1. the sound made by a trumpet, cornet, etc, when the bell is alternately covered and uncovered: much used in jazz
  2. an electronic attachment for an electric guitar, etc, that simulates this effect
Show More

Word Origin for wah-wah

C20: of imitative origin
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 wa-wa

wah-wah

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.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper