Difference Between Wave and Waive

Main Difference – Wave vs Waive

The two words wave and waive are another pair of words that gets easily confused due to their identical pronunciation. Though these are homophones, they are not homographs, i.e., they are spelt differently. Wave means to make a signal using hands or to move to and fro whereas waive means to give up a right or claim. This is the main difference between wave and waive.

Wave – Meaning and Usage

As a verb, wave has various meanings; but all these meanings are related to rising and falling motion. We wave our hands to greet someone or signal something. Sometimes we also wave other objects like hankies, caps or even flags. Wave can also mean to move to and fro while remaining in a fixed position. The following examples will explain the usage of wave as a verb.

He waved to us from the bus.

The princess waved to the crowd gracefully.

Their flag waved in the wind.

I saw her at the market and waved to her, but she didn’t see me.

Wave your arms with the music.

He waived his basketball and signaled us to come closer.

I saw Henry standing at the window; we waved to each other.

Wave can also be used as a noun. As a noun, wave refers to a long body of water curling into an arched form and breaking on the shore. Waves are found on moving bodies of waters like seas and ocean.

She stared at the white waves.

Wave can also refer to a sudden occurrence or an increase in a phenomenon. For example, consider words and phrases like heat wave, wave of fear, fresh wave of change, etc.

Difference Between Wave and Waive

Waive – Meaning and Usage

Waive is a verb meaning refrain from insisting or demanding; it also means to give up a right or claim. Waive is not as common as wave in usage since this is only used for specific situations. For example, before we undergo major surgery, we sign a legal document waiving any right of recompense if the surgery goes wrong.

The staff at Whiteleaf College waived their salaries to support the administration.

He waived all his rights to his grandfather’s inheritance.

Her tuition pays would be waived.

She signed a legal document waiving her rights to sue the company.

The tourists from South Asia are waived from paying a fee.

Main Difference - Wave vs Waive

Difference Between Wave and Waive


Wave means to move one’s hand to and fro.

Waive means to give up a right or claim.


Wave refers to a long body of water curling into an arched form and breaking on the shore

Waive is not a noun.


Wave is more common in usage.

Waive is less common in usage.


Wave can be used as a transitive and intransitive verb.

Waive is a transitive verb.Difference Between Wave and Waive- infographic

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