wave front


From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Wave \Wave\, n. [From Wave, v.; not the same word as OE. wawe,
   waghe, a wave, which is akin to E. wag to move. [root]138.
   See Wave, v. i.]
   [1913 Webster]
   1. An advancing ridge or swell on the surface of a liquid, as
      of the sea, resulting from the oscillatory motion of the
      particles composing it when disturbed by any force their
      position of rest; an undulation.
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            The wave behind impels the wave before. --Pope.
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   2. (Physics) A vibration propagated from particle to particle
      through a body or elastic medium, as in the transmission
      of sound; an assemblage of vibrating molecules in all
      phases of a vibration, with no phase repeated; a wave of
      vibration; an undulation. See Undulation.
      [1913 Webster]

   3. Water; a body of water. [Poetic] "Deep drank Lord Marmion
      of the wave." --Sir W. Scott.
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            Build a ship to save thee from the flood,
            I 'll furnish thee with fresh wave, bread, and wine.
                                                  --Chapman.
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   4. Unevenness; inequality of surface. --Sir I. Newton.
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   5. A waving or undulating motion; a signal made with the
      hand, a flag, etc.
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   6. The undulating line or streak of luster on cloth watered,
      or calendered, or on damask steel.
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   7. Something resembling or likened to a water wave, as in
      rising unusually high, in being of unusual extent, or in
      progressive motion; a swelling or excitement, as of
      feeling or energy; a tide; flood; period of intensity,
      usual activity, or the like; as, a wave of enthusiasm;
      waves of applause.
      [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

   Wave front (Physics), the surface of initial displacement
      of the particles in a medium, as a wave of vibration
      advances.

   Wave length (Physics), the space, reckoned in the direction
      of propagation, occupied by a complete wave or undulation,
      as of light, sound, etc.; the distance from a point or
      phase in a wave to the nearest point at which the same
      phase occurs.

   Wave line (Shipbuilding), a line of a vessel's hull, shaped
      in accordance with the wave-line system.

   Wave-line system, Wave-line theory (Shipbuilding), a
      system or theory of designing the lines of a vessel, which
      takes into consideration the length and shape of a wave
      which travels at a certain speed.

   Wave loaf, a loaf for a wave offering. --Lev. viii. 27.

   Wave moth (Zool.), any one of numerous species of small
      geometrid moths belonging to Acidalia and allied genera;
      -- so called from the wavelike color markings on the
      wings.

   Wave offering, an offering made in the Jewish services by
      waving the object, as a loaf of bread, toward the four
      cardinal points. --Num. xviii. 11.

   Wave of vibration (Physics), a wave which consists in, or
      is occasioned by, the production and transmission of a
      vibratory state from particle to particle through a body.
      

   Wave surface.
      (a) (Physics) A surface of simultaneous and equal
          displacement of the particles composing a wave of
          vibration.
      (b) (Geom.) A mathematical surface of the fourth order
          which, upon certain hypotheses, is the locus of a wave
          surface of light in the interior of crystals. It is
          used in explaining the phenomena of double refraction.
          See under Refraction.

   Wave theory. (Physics) See Undulatory theory, under
      Undulatory.
      [1913 Webster]
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