wave theory



Also called undulatory theory. Physics. the theory that light is transmitted as a wave, similar to oscillations in magnetic and electric fields.Compare corpuscular theory.
Historical Linguistics. a theory that accounts for shared features among languages or dialects by identifying these features as innovations that spread from their points of origin to the speech of contiguous areas.

Nearby words

  1. wave number,
  2. wave of the future,
  3. wave power,
  4. wave speed,
  5. wave tank,
  6. wave train,
  7. wave trap,
  8. wave-and-pay,
  9. wave-cut platform,
  10. wave-form

Origin of wave theory

First recorded in 1825–35

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

Examples from the Web for wave theory

British Dictionary definitions for wave theory

wave theory


the theory proposed by Huygens that light is transmitted by waves
any theory that light or other radiation is transmitted as wavesSee electromagnetic wave

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