Undulate means to move in a wave-like pattern. If a sound increases and decreases in pitch or volume like waves, you can say the sound is undulating. When searching for the lost boy, the rescuers' cries undulated through the forest.

The verb undulate comes from the Latin word undula, which means "wavelet" (unda means "wave"). So any action shown with the verb undulate has that waving sense to it. If something moves in a wavy, pattern, for example, it is said to undulate. The wind might cause prairie grass to undulate, or music might cause hips to undulate.

Definitions of undulate

v move in a wavy pattern or with a rising and falling motion

“The curtains undulated
flap, roll, wave
flap when the wind is blowing equally on both sides
Type of:
move so as to change position, perform a nontranslational motion

v stir up (water) so as to form ripples

cockle, riffle, ripple, ruffle
Type of:
flow, flux
move or progress freely as if in a stream

v increase and decrease in volume or pitch, as if in waves

“The singer's voice undulated
Type of:
undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature

v occur in soft rounded shapes


adj having a wavy margin and rippled surface

of the margin of a leaf shape; not broken up into teeth

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