electromagnetic wave

noun Physics.
a wave produced by the acceleration of an electric charge and propagated by the periodic variation of intensities of, usually, perpendicular electric and magnetic fields.
Also called electric wave.


Origin:
1905–10

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Collins
World English Dictionary
electromagnetic wave
 
n
See also electromagnetic radiation a wave of energy propagated in an electromagnetic field

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
electromagnetic wave  
A wave of energy consisting of electric and magnetic fields, oscillating at right angles to each other. See more at electromagnetic radiation.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

electromagnetic waves definition


Waves composed of undulating electrical fields and magnetic fields. The different kinds of electromagnetic waves, such as light and radio waves, form the electromagnetic spectrum. All electromagnetic waves have the same speed in a vacuum, a speed expressed by the letter c (the speed of light) and equal to about 186,000 miles (or 300,000 kilometers) per second.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
The quiet lets astronomers measure electromagnetic waves thrown off by
  space-borne molecules when they become heated or collide.
The team used an antenna to expose some of the mice to electromagnetic waves
  that approximated two hours of daily cell phone use.
Electromagnetic waves are its agents through which it works.
Naturally occurring materials, by contrast, don't interact with the magnetic
  component of electromagnetic waves.
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