Definition of undulate in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈʌndjʊleɪt/
[no object]
1Move with a smooth wave-like motion: her body undulated to the thumping rhythm of the music
More example sentences
  • You can almost see her seductive smile as she slows her dance until only her hips move, body undulating in place.
  • Between us was a sea of bodies, heaving and undulating in waves, to the bar, back again, to the bar.
  • The sidewalk between the beach and road undulates with a wavelike pattern in black and white stone.
rise and fall, surge, wave, billow, roll, swell, ripple, heave, flow, wind, swing, whirl, wobble, oscillate
1.1 (usually as adjective undulating) Have a wavy form or outline: delightful views over undulating countryside
More example sentences
  • The path goes for almost four miles through undulating moorland with no views of the sea and you pass several lochans, where divers nest in the summer.
  • The front legs of rococo chairs were undulating symphonies of curves and counter-curves.
  • This is undulating country and for part of the way the road follows the Grey River.


Pronunciation: /ˈʌndjʊlət/
Botany & Zoology
(Especially of a leaf) having a wavy surface or edge.



Example sentences
  • The leaves are ovate to oblong, 5 to 8 centimeters long, and pointed at both ends, with subentire or undulately toothed or lobed margins.
  • The mid lobe is 1.6 cm wide, thick, fleshy, and its margins are undulately crisped.


Pronunciation: /ˌʌndjʊˈleɪʃ(ə)n/
Example sentences
  • But the police say the road is a 40 mph zone for safety reasons as it has curves, undulations and several sets of traffic lights.
  • Wet roads or dry, the car grips very well on corners and undulations in the road do not throw it off-line.
  • It's a track I enjoy, particularly because of its high speed corners and undulations.


Pronunciation: /ˈʌndjʊlət(ə)ri/
Example sentences
  • This overall morphological simplicity, in theory, makes tadpoles good models for exploring how vertebrates control undulatory movements.
  • Regional and temporal variation in bending moments and power production have also been predicted to occur during steady undulatory swimming in fish.
  • However, their vertebral structure appears to have retained the primitive undulatory movement of the axial column.


Mid 17th century: from late Latin undulatus, from Latin unda 'a wave'.

  • water from Old English:

    The people living around the Black Sea more than 5 000 years ago had a word for water. We do not know exactly what it was, but it was probably the source for the words used for ‘water’ in many European languages, past and present. In Old English it was wæter. The Greek was hudōr, the source of words like hydraulic (mid 17th century) and hydrotherapy (late 19th century). The same root led to the formation of Latin unda ‘wave’, as in inundate (late 18th century), abound (Middle English) (from Latin abundare ‘overflow’), and undulate (mid 17th century), Russian voda (the source of vodka), German Wasser, and the English words wet (Old English) and otter (Old English). Of the first water means ‘unsurpassed’. The three highest grades into which diamonds or pearls could be classified used to be called waters, but only first water, the top one, is found today, describing a completely flawless gem. An equivalent term is found in many European languages, and all are thought to come from the Arabic word for water, , which also meant ‘shine or splendour’, presumably from the appearance of very pure water. People and things other than gems began to be described as of the first water in the 1820s. Nowadays the phrase is rarely used as a compliment: in a letter written in 1950, P.G. Wodehouse commented disparagingly on J. M. Barrie's play The Admirable Crichton: ‘I remember being entranced with it in 1904 or whenever it was, but now it seems like a turkey of the first water.’ If you study a duck shaking its wings after diving for food you will see the point of water off a duck's back, used since the 1820s of a potentially hurtful remark that has no apparent effect. The water forms into beads and simply slides off the bird's waterproof feathers, leaving the duck dry. Water under the bridge refers to events that are in the past and should no longer to be regarded as important. Similar phrases are recorded since the beginning of the 20th century. A North American variant is water over the dam. The first uses of waterlogged, in the late 18th century, referred to ships that were so flooded with water that they became heavy and unmanageable, and no better than a log floating in the sea. A watershed, a ridge of land that separates waters flowing to different rivers or seas, has nothing to do with garden sheds but means ‘ridge of high ground’ and is connected with shed (Old English) meaning ‘discard’.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: un¦du|late

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