Make waves


      • create a disturbance or cause trouble
        To stir up controversy or conflict, often in a disruptive or negative manner.

      • achieve something significant
        To make a big impact or achieve a notable accomplishment.

      • cause excitement or interest
        To generate buzz or attention, often in a positive or exciting way.

    Examples of Make waves

    • She's been making waves in the fashion industry with her bold designs.

      This idiom means that someone is causing a significant impact or creating a stir in a particular field or industry. It implies that the person's actions or ideas are attracting attention and causing a noticeable commotion.

    • His political views have been making waves in the community, causing controversy and sparking debates.

      This example shows how the idiom can be used in a political context, indicating that someone's opinions or proposals are causing strong reactions and generating a lot of discussion.

    • The release of the new album has been making waves in the music industry, with critics and fans alike raving about the artist's innovative sound.

      This example demonstrates how the idiom can be applied to the arts, suggesting that an artist's work is generating a lot of buzz and praise in their field.

    • The news of the company's merger has been making waves in the business world, with analysts predicting significant changes and potential benefits for shareholders.

      This example shows how the idiom can be used in a financial context, implying that a major corporate event is causing a lot of discussion and speculation among experts and investors.

    • The revelation of the athlete's doping scandal has been making waves in the sports world, with fans and officials calling for tougher penalties and stricter anti-doping measures.

      This example demonstrates how the idiom can be applied to sports, suggesting that a major controversy or issue is generating a lot of attention and debate within the athletic community.


    The idiom "make waves" can have multiple meanings, but they all revolve around the idea of causing some kind of disruption or disturbance. It can refer to creating trouble or controversy, achieving something significant, or generating excitement and interest. In all of these cases, the person or action being described is having a noticeable and sometimes powerful effect on their surroundings.

    Origin of "Make waves"

    The origin of this idiom can be traced back to the literal meaning of "waves." When something makes waves, it creates ripples or disturbances on the surface of water. This imagery was then applied to situations where someone or something was causing a disturbance or disruption in a figurative sense.

    The idiom also has nautical origins, as "making waves" was used to describe a ship creating waves as it sailed through the water. This concept was later applied to other situations where someone was making a big impact or causing a stir.

    Overall, the idiom "make waves" has a strong connotation of causing change or creating a noticeable effect, whether positive or negative. Its origins in both literal and figurative contexts help to convey the powerful impact that someone or something can have when they make waves.