See also: WoW

English

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Etymology 1

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Attested since the 16th century; borrowed from Scots wow; ultimately a natural exclamation.

Pronunciation

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  • enPR: wou, IPA(key): /waʊ/, [waʊ̯]
  • Audio (US):(file)
  • Rhymes: -aʊ

Interjection

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wow

  1. An indication of excitement, surprise, astonishment, or pleasure.
    Wow, I sure was surprised!
    • 1513, Gavin Douglas, Virgil Æneid (translation) vi. Prol. 19:
      Out on thir wanderand spiritis, wow! thow cryis.
  2. An expression of amazement, awe, or admiration.
    Wow! How do they do that?
  3. Used sarcastically to express disapproval of something.
    Wow… good job using all of our supplies on the first day.
Synonyms
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Derived terms
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Translations
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The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Verb

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wow (third-person singular simple present wows, present participle wowing, simple past and past participle wowed)

  1. (transitive, informal) To amaze or awe.
    He really wowed the audience.
    • 2015, Joe Sweeney, Mike Yorkey, Moving the Needle, John Wiley & Sons, →ISBN, page 200:
      If all of us can remember how great it felt to be wowed, why don't we make it a habit to do it more often for others? People remember you when you wow them, so to differentiate yourself with your clients and customers, think of doing something that would make them remember you.
    • 2023 May 8, Nesrine Malik, “The coronation pulled a screen across a desperate, failing nation – just as intended”, in The Guardian[1], →ISSN:
      We have the worst of both worlds: the royal family gives us nothing, and we in turn legitimise it, give it meaning and audience and pay, through subsidies and tax exemptions, for its ability to wow us.
Translations
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Noun

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wow (plural wows)

  1. (informal) Anything exceptionally surprising, unbelievable, outstanding, etc.
    He did? That's a wow!
    • 1932, Delos W. Lovelace, King Kong, published 1965, page 144:
      ‘And say, Jimmy, wait till you see me in my new outfit...It’s a wow, kid.’
    • 1991, Stephen Fry, The Liar, London: Heinemann, →OCLC, page 27:
      ‘Jesus suffering fuck,’ said Adrian. ‘It's not half a thought.’
      ‘Face it, it's a wow.’
Derived terms
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Etymology 2

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Imitative.

Noun

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wow (countable and uncountable, plural wows)

  1. (audio) A relatively slow form of flutter (pitch variation) which can affect both gramophone records and tape recorders.
    • 1970, Larry G. Goodwin, Thomas Koehring, Closed-circuit Television Production Techniques, page 80:
      Sound films have to be loaded so that the sound is 5 seconds before the sound drum so a wow does not result when the film is punched up on the air.

See also

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other terms containing the word "wow", probably etymologically unrelated

Anagrams

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Atikamekw

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Noun

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wow

  1. egg

Chinese

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Etymology 1

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From English wow, used in the sarcastic Internet slang Wow! Old news is so exciting!.

Pronunciation

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Verb

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wow

  1. (Hong Kong Cantonese, Internet slang, of news) to become outdated; to become old news
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Etymology 2

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From English wow.

Pronunciation

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Interjection

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wow

  1. (Internet slang) wow!

Japanese

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Alternative spelling
whoa

Etymology

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Borrowed from English whoa.

Pronunciation

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Interjection

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wow(ウォー) (

  1. (chiefly in popular music) wow; whoa

Middle English

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Noun

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wow

  1. Alternative form of wowe

Polish

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Etymology

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Unadapted borrowing from English wow.

Pronunciation

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Interjection

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wow

  1. (colloquial) wow

Further reading

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  • wow in Polish dictionaries at PWN

Scots

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Pronunciation

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Etymology 1

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Attested in Older Scots a. 1500. Probably originally imitative. Compare Scottish Gaelic bhòbh (alas).[1]

Interjection

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wow

  1. wow (an exclamation of astonishment or amazement)
    Synonym: vow
  2. (archaic) woe (an exclamation of grief)
    Synonym: wae

Etymology 2

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From Middle English wowe, from Old English wogian (to woo).[2]

Verb

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wow (third-person singular simple present wows, present participle wowin, simple past wowt, past participle wowt)

  1. (archaic, transitive or intransitive) to woo, court; to solicit affection (from someone)

Etymology 3

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Attested from the 18th century. (This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)

Noun

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wow (plural wows)

  1. a howl, barking (as of a dog)

Verb

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wow (third-person singular simple present wows, present participle wowin, simple past wowt, past participle wowt)

  1. to howl, to bark

Etymology 4

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Sound shift from wave.[3]

Verb

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wow (third-person singular simple present wows, present participle wowin, simple past wowt, past participle wowt)

  1. to beckon, to signal by waving

References

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Spanish

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Etymology

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Unadapted borrowing from English wow.

Pronunciation

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Interjection

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wow

  1. wow (an indication of excitement or surprise)

Usage notes

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According to Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) prescriptions, unadapted foreign words should be written in italics in a text printed in roman type, and vice versa, and in quotation marks in a manuscript text or when italics are not available. In practice, this RAE prescription is not always followed.