A ripple is a small wave on the surface of something, such as a ripple that forms a ring around the spot where you threw a pebble into the pond.

Ripple can also be a verb. For example, you might see raindrops ripple on top of a puddle. Ripple was first used in the 1670s to describe something that causes a ruffled surface, sort of like how water seems to momentarily gain texture as it's stirred. Ripple later came to describe a very small wave, but you've probably heard of the "ripple effect" in which tiny waves spread, setting off more and more waves.

Definitions of ripple
  1. noun
    a small wave on the surface of a liquid
    synonyms: riffle, rippling, wavelet
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    type of:
    moving ridge, wave
    one of a series of ridges that moves across the surface of a liquid (especially across a large body of water)
  2. verb
    stir up (water) so as to form ripples
    synonyms: cockle, riffle, ruffle, undulate
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    type of:
    flow, flux
    move or progress freely as if in a stream
  3. verb
    flow in an irregular current with a bubbling noise
    synonyms: babble, bubble, burble, guggle, gurgle
    make sounds similar to gurgling water
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    type of:
    go, sound
    make a certain noise or sound
  4. noun
    (electronics) an oscillation of small amplitude imposed on top of a steady value
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    type of:
    oscillation, vibration
    (physics) a regular periodic variation in value about a mean
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