Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Wave.

 Watteau.Wax-bond End (A). 
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
Wave.
 
The ninth wave. A notion prevails that the waves keep increasing in regular series till the maximum arrives, and then the series begins again. No doubt when two waves coalesce they form a large one, but this does not occur at fixed intervals. The most common theory is that the tenth wave is the largest, but Tennyson says the ninth.   1
       
“And then the two
       
Dropt to the cove, and watch’d the great sea fall,
Wave after wave, each mightier than the last,
Till last, a ninth one, gathering half the deep
And full of voices, slowly rose and plunged
Roaring, and all the wave was in a flame.”
       
Tennyson: The Holy Grail.
 


 Watteau.Wax-bond End (A). 

 
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