wah-wah

or wa-wa

[ wah-wah ]
/ ˈwɑˌwɑ /
|

adjective

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.

noun

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.

Nearby words

  1. wagonette,
  2. wagonload,
  3. wagram,
  4. wagtail,
  5. wagyu,
  6. wahabi,
  7. wahabite,
  8. wahhabi,
  9. wahhabism,
  10. wahiawa

Origin of wah-wah

First recorded in 1925–30; imitative

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for wah-wah



British Dictionary definitions for wah-wah

wah-wah

/ (ˈwɑːˌwɑː) /

noun

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 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 wah-wah

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper