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.
Why Are We Calling Everything A “Wave”?Why have so many waves found their way into our cultural lexicon in recent years? In this article, the first in the column Mincing Metaphors, we unpack this oceanic metaphor to better understand what it means and why it’s proving so useful right now.
tinfoil hatRead more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.
- wave number,
- wave of the future,
- wave power,
- wave speed,
- wave tank,
- wave train,
- wave trap,
- wave-cut platform,
Compare family-tree theory.
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
Kepler's laws were the result of indefatigable guessing, and so, in a somewhat different sense, was the wave-theory of light.The Unseen World and Other Essays|John Fiske
Miss Nightingale, however, did not allow herself to be tempted into inactivity by this wave-theory.The Life of Florence Nightingale vol. 2 of 2|Edward Tyas Cook
Compare corpuscular theory
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