WAVES


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wave goodbye to (someone or something)

1. Literally, to wave to someone when parting. Wave goodbye to your friends, sweetie. They're at the window.
2. To lose or end something, especially suddenly; to be forced to accept such a loss or end. You were caught drinking on school property? Well, you can wave goodbye to your brand new car, mister! After the final horse lost its race, I waved goodbye to all the money I'd won that day at the track. You do realize that you'll be waving goodbye to all the health insurance benefits the company has to offer if you decide to work as a freelancer?
See also: goodbye, wave

wave a/the white flag

To offer a sign of surrender or defeat; to yield or give in. After the prosecutors brought forward their newest evidence, the defendant waved the white flag and agreed to the plea bargain. We've been in negotiations for weeks, but it looks like the other company might finally be ready to wave a white flag.
See also: flag, wave, white

wave the bloody shirt

To encourage violence and animosity. The phrase was especially popular during the US Civil War. Primarily heard in US. A lot of people in our country are waving the bloody shirt right now, but I just can't support acts of violence, however justified they may be.
See also: bloody, shirt, wave

wave the flag

To stand up for, support, or defend someone or something. A number of people from the actor's hometown are arriving into New York to wave the flag at his debut performance on Broadway. My country is often a target for insults or gibes abroad, so whenever I go traveling I make a point of waving the flag for it.
See also: flag, wave

make waves

1. To cause trouble or controversy, especially that which affects the course of a situation. The merger is almost complete, so we're all just holding our collective breath that someone doesn't make waves at the last minute.
2. To do something innovative that draws a large amount of attention and makes a widespread impact on its society, industry, etc., often causing controversy in the process. The startup made waves throughout the industry by releasing a device that never needs to be charged.
See also: make, WAVES

wave a/(one's) (magic) wand (and do something)

To provide the perfect solution to a given problem or difficulty, as if by magic. If I could wave my magic wand, I would just make it so the pipe had been installed properly in the first place. But I can't, so we're going to have to make a decision about how to fix it. We can't just wave a magic wand and make poverty go away. It will have to be a systematic effort by many stakeholders.
See also: wand, wave

blue wave

In the US, a surge of voters supporting Democratic candidates, resulting in an unusually high number being elected to office. (Democrats are associated with the color blue.) Liberals are hopeful that a blue wave is coming in the midterm elections this fall.
See also: blue, wave

red wave

In the US, a surge of voters supporting Republican candidates, resulting in an unusually high number being elected to office. (Republicans are associated with the color red.) Conservatives are hopeful that a red wave is coming in the midterm elections this fall.
See also: red, wave

pink wave

An abundance of female candidates for political office during a given election or certain period, and/or a surge of voters supporting women candidates. Primarily heard in US. Throughout the country, there is a pink wave of female candidates looking to win seats in Congress.
See also: pink, wave

wave aside

1. To signal for someone or something to move away or aside by waving at them. A noun or pronoun can be used between "wave" and "aside." The police officer stood at the entrance of the building, waving onlookers and reporters aside. I had to wave aside cars so that Tom had room to repair the flat tire.
2. To dismiss, ignore, or evade something, especially a question. A noun or pronoun can be used between "wave" and "aside." The president waved the question aside and moved on to the next one. Please don't just wave aside this issue during the meeting—people deserve an answer.
See also: aside, wave

wave down

To signal with one's hand for someone or something to stop or come over to one's location. A noun or pronoun can be used between "wave" and "down." I managed to wave a car down to help me fix my tire on the side of the road. We're already running late, so let's just wave down a cab.
See also: down, wave

wave off

1. To signal with one's hand for someone or something to stand back or move away. A noun or pronoun can be used between "wave" and "off." The police officer stood at the entrance of the building waving off onlookers and reporters. I had to keep waving the birds off as they tried to get some of the food from our picnic.
2. To dismiss, ignore, or evade something, especially a question. A noun or pronoun can be used between "wave" and "off." The president waved the question off and moved on to the next one. Please don't just wave off this issue during the meeting—people deserve an answer.
3. To signal goodbye to someone as they depart. A noun or pronoun can be used between "wave" and "off." You used to be able to go all the way to the gate of the airplane to wave people off, but now you can't even go through security with them. We all stood outside the house waving off our guests as they drove away.
See also: off, wave

wave on

To signal with one's hand for someone or something to continue or proceed with their current course. A noun or pronoun can be used between "wave" and "on." The police officer waved us on as soon as the other cars had passed through the intersection. We need a team of volunteers to stand at certain parts of the race and wave on competitors so they don't get lost.
See also: on, wave

wave through

To signal with one's hand for someone or something to continue or proceed through some place or thing. A noun or pronoun can be used between "wave" and "through." The police officer waved through cars at the intersection in lieu of the traffic lights. You'll need to check everyone's ID at the entrance and wave them through if they are supposed to be there.
See also: through, wave

make waves

Sl. to cause difficulty. (Often in the negative.) Just relax. Don't make waves. If you make waves too much around here, you won't last long.
See also: make, WAVES

wave someone or something aside

to make a signal with the hand for someone or something to move aside. The police officer waved us aside and would not let us turn into our street. The officer waved aside the spectators. She waved all the traffic aside.
See also: aside, wave

wave someone or something off

to make a signal with the hand for someone or something to remain at a distance. There was someone standing in front of the bridge, waving everyone off. The bridge must have collapsed. He waved off all the traffic.
See also: off, wave

wave someone or something on

to make a signal with the hand for someone or something to move on or keep moving. The traffic cop waved us on. The cop waved on the hordes of pedestrians.
See also: on, wave

make waves

Cause a disturbance or controversy, as in We've finally settled our differences, so please don't make waves. This expression alludes to causing turbulence in the water. [Slang; mid-1900s] Also see rock the boat.
See also: make, WAVES

make waves

COMMON If you make waves, you change a situation by doing things in a very different way, often in a way that disturbs some people. Maathai has a history of making waves. In 1971 she became the first woman in East and Central Africa to earn a PhD. They are part of the new breed of furniture makers who are starting to make waves on the British scene. Note: You sometimes use this expression to suggest that this is making things better or more exciting.
See also: make, WAVES

make waves

1 create a significant impression. 2 cause trouble. informal
1 1997 Spectator Perhaps unsurprisingly, it is the old pros disguised as new boys and girls who are making the biggest waves.
See also: make, WAVES

make ˈwaves

(informal) be active in a way that makes people notice you, and that may sometimes cause problems: It’s taken us a long time to find an answer to this problem, so please don’t make waves now.
See also: make, WAVES

wave aside

v.
1. To direct someone or something to stand aside by or as if by waving the hand or arm: The police waved aside the crowd. I waved my friends aside.
2. To ignore or dismiss someone or something: This review waves aside the actors' performances. The supervisor waved the new assistant aside.
See also: aside, wave

wave down

v.
To signal and cause someone or something to stop by waving the hand or arm: I waved down a cab. The stranded motorist waved a police car down.
See also: down, wave

wave off

v.
1. To dismiss or refuse something or someone by waving the hand or arm: The celebrity waved off our invitation to join our group. The bus driver waved us off and refused to stop.
2. Sports To cancel or nullify something by waving the arms, usually from a crossed position: The official waved off the goal because time had run out. The referee waved the penalty off after reviewing the play.
3. To acknowledge someone's departure by waving the hand or arm: We went down to the train station to wave off the politician. We waved our guests off at the airport.
See also: off, wave

wave on

v.
To encourage or signal someone or something to proceed by or as if by waving the hand or arm: The police officer waved the pedestrians on. The crowd waved on the runners.
See also: on, wave

wave through

v.
To direct or allow someone or something to pass through by or as if by waving the hand or arm: We slowed down at the gate, but the guard waved us through. The customs officials waved through the passengers who had no luggage.
See also: through, wave

make waves

tv. to cause difficulty. (Often in the negative.) If you make waves too much around here, you won’t last long.
See also: make, WAVES

make waves

Slang
To cause a disturbance or controversy.
See also: make, WAVES