from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of a demonstration, proof, or explanation, missing important details or logical steps, perhaps instead appealing to common sense, tradition, intuition, or examples.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • In a kind of handwavy way, he said that all the backend to handle that well is very complicated and has a ton of parts.


  • By empathy with the TAs, I meant knowing what they were going to be anal about and what they were going to be very handwavy about when grading.

    Failing Students

  • Same with his juveniles where the science is even more handwavy.

    Strange Fiction 8

  • For a desktop redesign with a 6 hr genesis it is relatively concrete, its not handwavy, its not buzzword-y, its not taillight chasing.

    Planet GNOME

  • I was always dismayed by the sort of handwavy explanations of energy transfer in photosynthesis I received in college.

    Original Signal - Transmitting Buzz

  • I had always thought it was just vague handwavy ***** prior to some of my 300 math courses on the subject.

    Original Signal - Transmitting Digg

  • - But I prefer to use data unlike the other handwavy arguments that involve the gold standard, doom and gloom, and tin cans

    I Will Teach You To Be Rich

  • I just happen to fall on the side of history that suggests the economy will continue to grow over the long term -- as it has -- not the side that uses handwavy arguments involving the gold standard, undefined "crisis," and tin cans of coffee.


  • My heroine was an astrophysicist who didn’t seem to know much in the way of astrophysics, mainly because I hadn’t done the research and had filled in the gaps with handwavy pseudoscience.

    2009 February «

  • I don’t want some handwavy argument as to why it is reasonable to believe that the rate is higher than for other crimes.

    False Allegation Worse Than Rape?


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