Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Having the character of an undulation; moving in or marked by undulations; undulating: as, an undulatory current of electricity; the undulatory motion of water, of air, or other fluid.
  • Having the form or appearance of a series of waves.
  • Of or pertaining to undulation; assuming undulating movements of some medium as the physical explanation of some class or group of phenomena: as, the undulatory theory of light.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Moving in the manner of undulations, or waves; resembling the motion of waves, which successively rise or swell rise or swell and fall; pertaining to a propagated alternating motion, similar to that of waves.
  • adjective (Opt.) that theory which regards the various phenomena of light as due to undulations in an ethereal medium, propagated from the radiant with immense, but measurable, velocities, and producing different impressions on the retina according to their amplitude and frequency, the sensation of brightness depending on the former, that of color on the latter. The undulations are supposed to take place, not in the direction of propagation, as in the air waves constituting sound, but transversely, and the various phenomena of refraction, polarization, interference, etc., are attributable to the different affections of these undulations in different circumstances of propagation. It is computed that the frequency of the undulations corresponding to the several colors of the spectrum ranges from 458 millions of millions per second for the extreme red ray, to 727 millions of millions for the extreme violet, and their lengths for the same colors, from the thirty-eight thousandth to the sixty thousandth part of an inch. The theory of ethereal undulations is applicable not only to the phenomena of light, but also to those of heat.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective That undulates, or that causes undulations

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective resembling waves in form or outline or motion

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • An _undulatory_ shock consists of one or several waves, the movement to and fro being along a nearly horizontal line; a _subsultory_ shock of movements in a nearly vertical direction; while a _vorticose_ shock consists of undulatory or subsultory movements crossing one another in different directions.

    A Study of Recent Earthquakes

  • I need hardly point out, that we have evidence in favour of the hypothesis that light is due to some form of periodic wave motion in the Aether, the hypothesis being that known as the undulatory theory.

    Aether and Gravitation

  • Newton, was developing another theory which is now known as the undulatory or wave theory.

    Aether and Gravitation

  • This consisted of a slice of cherry pie with whipped cream on top, an orange, a cup of coffee, and a poem by Baudelaire in which a woman dances so beautifully he compares her undulatory movements to a snake.

    Veins Of Crazy Water

  • The essential difference is indicated by that of their respective orgasms, the female undulatory, the male catastrophic.

    In Her Wake

  • For their chosen period of emphasis, Daston and Park challenge the traditional, linear historical narrative concerning the gradual naturalization of wonders, arguing instead that elite attitudes toward them were undulatory and sometimes cyclic.

    Archive 2007-03-01

  • For their chosen period of emphasis, Daston and Park challenge the traditional, linear historical narrative concerning the gradual naturalization of wonders, arguing instead that elite attitudes toward them were undulatory and sometimes cyclic.

    BSFA Event

  • The former, indeed, is a particular kind of sensation, but the latter is merely a vibrative or undulatory motion the air.

    Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous

  • Some came from on high, like falling stars, but most moved among the trees a few feet from the ground with a slow undulatory motion, the fire having a pale blue tinge, as one imagines an incandescent sapphire might have.

    The Golden Chersonese and the way thither

  • Our road appeared to be undulatory, and our journey, like the journey of life, seemed to be a pretty regular alternation of up hill and down, and here and there it was diversified with copses and woods; the majestic Thames every now and then, like a little forest of masts, rising to our view, and anon losing itself among the delightful towns and villages.

    Travels in England in 1782

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