to increase and then decrease over time according to size, number, strength or intensity


Related words and phrases:

alternative, ebb and flow, good and bad times, peaks and valleys, systole and diastole, ups and downs

Idiom Scenario 1

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You are watching: What does wax and wane mean


Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1: I don't understand why my sales numbers are so variable. For a time, I seem to be doing really well and then my numbers fall and there is a really slow period and then my numbers will pick up again. I am not doing anything differently but my numbers keep cycling.

Colleague 2: Don't worry. It is the nature of the business we are in. You are not doing anything wrong. Everyone's sales figures wax and wane according to certain market conditions that are beyond our control. Just save money when sales are high and then use your savings when things are not so good.

Idiom Scenario 2

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Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1: How long has it been since you moved your family to the country?

Friend 2: It has been almost two years now.

Friend 1: And are you enjoying country living?

Friend 2: I love it. The pace is much slower and I have been able to relax a lot and enjoy nature. I have developed the habit of sitting on the porch at night and just staring at the moon and stars. It is very interesting to watch the moon as it waxes and wanes over the course of its twenty-eight day cycle. When the moon is full, I can actually see it casting shadows in the back yard but when it is a new moon, it is absolutely pitch dark in the yard.

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to wax and wane - Usage:


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to wax and wane - Gerund Form:

Waxing and waning, the companies sales continued to cycle from very good to bad to very good again.

to wax and wane - Examples:

1) ... do not have matching challenges or opportunities. The political fortunes of premiers wax and wane according to provincial pressures, not national ones.

2) While pricing may wax and wane like other commodities, diamonds are considered sound long-term investments.

3) Guided by the omnipresent swinging pendulum clock, we see the characters wax and wane between what they feel and how they should act.

4) ... that levels of the XPA protein -- which repairs damage to DNA -- wax and wane throughout the day and seem to be controlled by the body clock.

5) ... follow death as surely as sunrise will follow sunset and the moon will wax and wane.

6) ... tends to persist long-term. However, the severity of symptoms tends to wax and wane and you may have long spells without any symptoms, or with only mild symptoms ...

7) One or more joints may become particularly badly affected. # Symptoms often wax and wane. Sometimes this is related to things such as the weather.

8) ... light and dark, active and passive. Yin and Yang wax and wane with cosmic time and make up the potentiality of the human condition.

9) ... in which organizational support may wax and wane, and where the exigencies of policy changes, budget cuts and differential leadership may ...

10) The problem with voc courses is that economic sectors wax and wane. A degree in tourism and hospitality is fine until the currency fluctuates or the ...

11) Population size may wax and wane as resources and economies grow and shrivel, much like modern Detroit.

12) ... which erupted in May this year seems to wax and wane with a cycle of about 140 years.

13) A succession of businesses have subsequently operated here as the suburb has waxed and waned over decades.

14) I decided it was time. My reign had waxed and waned, but now, the peaks felt far gone.

15) ... and while the fortunes of individual players have waxed and waned over the years, and this is reflected in their changing individual roles in the ...

16) Since the early part of the twentieth century Wattle Day has waxed and waned; not all States observed it and the date varied locally.

17) ... the population of this community waxed and waned through the 20th century, with migration patterns significantly influenced by global economic and political ...

18) The Church has a long history of anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism which has waxed and waned, I think, according to the cultural and social dominances of the day.

19) Nurses came and went, and my fear waxed and waned in sync with the gradually increasing boluses of IV morphine.

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20) Throughout the following decades and centuries Romes fortunes waxed and waned, before finally crumbling.