Main meanings of wow in English

: wow1wow2

wow1

(also wowee)

exclamation

informal
  • Expressing astonishment or admiration.

    ‘‘Wow!’ he cried enthusiastically’
    • ‘Imagine two cute guys chasing after you in real life wowee… lol!’
    • ‘The salmon steak ($9 - wow!) was well-cooked and blended perfectly with the sweet homemade chutney.’
    • ‘Hey Eric, shall I tell everyone what we talked about on the way down - fascinating conversation about Supply Chain Management, wow!’
    • ‘I knew it was different to the usual formulaic melodic guitars they adopted (with great success I might add) for their first three albums, but wow!’
    • ‘That's going to pretty awesome if it goes ahead… 6 months in England… wow!’
    • ‘From our seats we can even peer out the window from time to time and see the mountain ski resorts near Sante Fe New Mexico and Salt Lake City Utah, wow!’
    • ‘We wrote, phoned, e-mailed and then met, and wow!’
    • ‘I can't say that there was anything about his voice that made me go ‘Oh wow!’’
    • ‘Your newsletter is so cool, I thought you were cool before but now… wow!’
    • ‘I've gone through all this grief and pain and now I feel like… wow!’
    • ‘They're fiercely varietal: just one variety in each wine and as for the sheer concentration of fruit and perfume - wow!’
    • ‘Now, I'd never heard his name until the defamation trial began but wow!’
    • ‘Treat it like a date: book dinner, organise champagne for the room and… wow!’
    • ‘It could be like chocolate cake that you've never tasted and then suddenly, wow!’
    • ‘I never expected him to be so tall, and those broad muscular shoulders, wow!’
    • ‘If we could all live like that, if we all had the strength of no fear… wow!’
    • ‘Well, I was driving, keeping eyes on the road, and put a hand into the old margarine dish on my lap, when I picked up a piece of cucumber and a potato crisp at the same time, popped them into my mouth and wow!’
    • ‘A crown rests on her pale head which appears entirely devoid of hair, not a beauty by today's standards, but during the 15th century… wow!’
    • ‘Mark, all I can say is congratulations, good luck and wow!’
    • ‘I know it's a little longer than normal since my last update (2 days, wow!) but I didn't get round to updating yesterday.’

noun

informal
  • A sensational success.

    ‘your play's a wow’
    • ‘As the game progressed, Celtic began to control the exchanges, but some clever rearguard actions defused some promising Celtic wows, in which Ian Farrell and Tom Butler were prominent.’
    • ‘Each will be scrutinized by the coaching staff after Grant Noel and Jason Davis failed to produce many wows during the spring.’
    • ‘Something just felt… too easy… about spinning last year's woes and wows into next year's resolutions.’
    • ‘People do want to find that unique gift, something that will give a real wow!’
    success, box-office success, sell-out, winner, triumph, sensation

verb

[with object]informal
  • Impress and excite (someone) greatly.

    ‘they wowed audiences on their recent British tour’
    • ‘Lemar, who came third in the reality TV show competition, will be wowing the audience with songs, including the tune Lullaby which he composed along with fellow contestant Ainsley.’
    • ‘Having performed at Just for Laughs in '97 and '98, he's back to take another crack at wowing audiences.’
    • ‘The group is used to wowing audiences with acts such as spinning one another in the air from suspended strips of cloth, but the school opted for some less dangerous activities.’
    • ‘Yet he is fast becoming one of the most sought-after acts in America, wowing the crowds as he plummets through the air from an altitude of 5,000 ft.’
    • ‘She was one of the youngest children to perform at the Globe Theatre in Blackpool in March, and is looking forward to wowing the audience at the Albert Halls this month.’
    • ‘After wowing the audience at the Willows club in Salford, he is in with a chance of winning the £5,000 grand final on November 16.’
    • ‘One minute he's performing in a musical, the next he's in a television drama, and the next he's wowing audiences with live cabaret.’
    • ‘Since 1995 they've been wowing audiences with a crossover style combining their operatic training with Irish folk.’
    • ‘I love pretending I'm in the competition, wowing the crowds every night.’
    • ‘The young man soon finds he can stay on the ship by playing the piano, after proving himself a genius on the instrument and wowing the captain.’
    • ‘The singers took turns wowing the audience with popular film songs.’
    • ‘The multitalented, balding star wowed the crowd, so expect him to pop up in New York sometime soon.’
    • ‘They wowed the crowds with a motorcycle, high dive and car show.’
    • ‘Aspiring student designers wowed the audience with their creations at a spectacular fashion show in Selby Abbey.’
    • ‘While the role of visuals is undeniable, another vital part of what wows people and helps sell them on a game is the quality of information available about it - which is clearly related to the supporting publicity.’
    • ‘His mid-90s fastball wows fans, but the natural movement on his fastball and slider are behind his improvement this spring.’
    • ‘How a group with this much energy can remain so synchronized is a marvel, but what really wows is that they seem also to be having the time of their lives doing it.’
    • ‘Deirdre wowed the judges with her natural beauty, fantastic personality and general warmth as a person.’
    • ‘Many singers are still wowing their fans and at the same time growing old gracefully.’
    • ‘And youngsters from Commonweal School were victorious, with two winning poems, which wowed the judges.’
    entertain, make laugh, delight, divert, gladden, cheer, cheer up, please, charm, tickle, convulse, beguile, enliven, regale

Origin

Natural exclamation: first recorded in Scots in the early 16th century.

Pronunciation

wow

/waʊ/

Main meanings of wow in English

: wow1wow2

wow2

noun

mass noun
  • Slow pitch fluctuation in sound reproduction, perceptible in long notes.

    ‘The CD ends on a wow note, with Enough, a deep and beautiful piece.’
    Compare with flutter (sense 1 of the noun)
    ‘Unlike ‘Within the Golden Hour,’ ‘Changes’ doesn't end on a wow note but instead recapitulates its opening scene, as the curtain falls.’

Origin

1930s imitative.

Pronunciation

wow

/waʊ/