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[v. uhn-juh-leyt, uhn-dyuh-, -duh-; adj. uhn-juh-lit, -leyt, uhn-dyuh-, -duh-] /v. ˈʌn dʒəˌleɪt, ˈʌn dyə-, -də-; adj. ˈʌn dʒə lɪt, -ˌleɪt, ˈʌn dyə-, -də-/
verb (used without object), undulated, undulating.
to move with a sinuous or wavelike motion; display a smooth rising-and-falling or side-to-side alternation of movement:
The flag undulates in the breeze.
to have a wavy form or surface; bend with successive curves in alternate directions.
(of a sound) to rise and fall in pitch:
the wail of a siren undulating in the distance.
verb (used with object), undulated, undulating.
to cause to move in waves.
to give a wavy form to.
Also, undulated. having a wavelike or rippled form, surface, edge, etc.; wavy.
Origin of undulate
1650-60; < Latin undulātus waved, equivalent to und(a) wave + -ul(a) -ule + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
undulator, noun
nonundulate, adjective
nonundulating, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for undulating
  • By undulating back and forth, the snake can actually make turns.
  • Hundreds of pickers were trudging across an undulating landscape of garbage.
  • Now the damaged roads and cordons give a bike the edge in efficiency, as long as you are prepared for undulating paths.
  • The bumpy country road wound deeper into the scrubland until at last an undulating shape appeared in the distance.
  • The courses are well maintained and manicured, with undulating greens.
  • Glacial landforms include nearly level and undulating outwash and till plains, pitted outwash plains, and steep moraines.
  • It lies on undulating land, rising from above sea level in the west to in the east.
British Dictionary definitions for undulating


to move or cause to move in waves or as if in waves
to have or provide with a wavy form or appearance
adjective (ˈʌndjʊlɪt; -ˌleɪt)
having a wavy or rippled appearance, margin, or form: an undulate leaf
Derived Forms
undulator, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin undulātus, from unda a wave
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for undulating



1660s, from undulation. Related: undulated, undulating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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