[ weyvz ]
/ weɪvz /

noun (used with a singular or plural verb)

the Women's Reserve of the U.S. Naval Reserve, the distinct force of women enlistees in the U.S. Navy, organized during World War II.

Nearby words

  1. waukesha,
  2. waul,
  3. waur,
  4. wausau,
  5. wauwatosa,
  6. wave band,
  7. wave cyclone,
  8. wave down,
  9. wave election,
  10. wave energy

Origin of Waves

1942; W(omen) A(ccepted for) V(olunteer) E(mergency) S(ervice)


[ weyv ]
/ weɪv /


verb (used without object), waved, wav·ing.

verb (used with object), waved, wav·ing.

Origin of wave

1325–75; Middle English waven (v.), Old English wafian to wave the hands; cognate with Middle High German waben; cf. waver1

1. undulation, whitecap. Wave, ripple, breaker, surf refer to a ridge or swell on the surface of water. Wave is the general word: waves in a high wind. A ripple is the smallest kind of wave, such as is caused by a stone thrown into a pool: ripples in a brook. A breaker is a wave breaking, or about to break, upon the shore or upon rocks: the roar of breakers. Surf is the collective name for breakers: Heavy surf makes bathing dangerous. 14. undulate, flutter, float, sway, rock; fluctuate.

Related forms
Can be confusedwaive wave



[ weyv ]
/ weɪv /


a member of the Waves.

Origin of Wave

First recorded in 1942; see origin at Waves

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

Examples from the Web for waves

British Dictionary definitions for waves



/ (weɪvz) /

n acronym for (in the US)

Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service; the women's reserve of the US navy


/ (weɪv) /



Derived Formswaveless, adjectivewavelike, adjective

Word Origin for wave

Old English wafian (vb); related to Old High German weban to weave, Old Norse vafra; see waver; C16 (n) changed from earlier wāwe, probably from Old English wǣg motion; compare wag 1

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 waves
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for waves


[ wāv ]


A disturbance traveling through a medium by which energy is transferred from one particle of the medium to another without causing any permanent displacement of the medium itself.
A graphic representation of the variation of such a disturbance with time.
A single cycle that is representative of such a disturbance.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for waves


[ wāv ]

A disturbance, oscillation, or vibration, either of a medium and moving through that medium (such as water and sound waves), or of some quantity with different values at different points in space, moving through space (such as electromagnetic waves or a quantum mechanical wave described by the wave function). See also longitudinal wave transverse wave wave function. See Note at refraction.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for waves


In physics, any regularly recurring event, such as surf coming in toward a beach, that can be thought of as a disturbance moving through a medium. Waves are characterized by wavelength, frequency, and the speed at which they move. Waves are found in many forms.


The motion of a wave and the motion of the medium on which the wave moves are not the same: ocean waves, for example, move toward the beach, but the water itself merely moves up and down. Sound waves are spread by alternating compression and expansion of air.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with waves


see make waves.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.