Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

wave - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun [countable] wave pronunciation in British English /weɪv/
Word Forms
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    a line of water that rises up on the surface of a sea, lake, or river
    The boat was smashed by a huge wave.
    Children swam and played in the waves.
    1. a.

      the waves

      [plural] literary the sea
  2. 2
    a sudden increase in a particular type of behaviour or activity, especially one that is unpleasant or not welcome
    wave of: A fresh wave of selling sent technology stocks even lower.
    a frightening wave of drug-related killings
    1. a.
      a large number of people moving or arriving somewhere at the same time
      wave of: Waves of protesters began arriving at the stadium.
      in waves: Demonstrators came to the rally in waves.
    2. b.
      a period of activity that is part of a series of similar periods
      Much of Dresden was destroyed by wave after wave of bombing.
  3. 3
    a sudden strong feeling or emotion that a person or group of people has
    wave of: They were overcome by a wave of horror at the news.
    The scandal set off a wave of anger among local residents.
    She felt a wave of tiredness sweep over her.


a meal served in the evening which consists of foods traditionally eaten at breakfast

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

troll factory

a company that pays its employees to write online comments in favour or against somebody or something posing as ordinary Internet users

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog