A microwave is a small oven that cooks or heats food very quickly. Instead of the electric or gas heat that a regular oven uses, a microwave heats with electromagnetic radiation.

While the heat of a regular oven (or a small toaster oven) surrounds your food and cooks it from the outside, with the heat working its way in, a microwave’s radiation cooks most food from the inside out. Its radiation, or waves, penetrate the food and heat up any moisture inside it. These waves are themselves called microwaves because they’re short (and micro- means “small”), similar to radio waves.

Definitions of microwave
  1. noun

    kitchen appliance that cooks food by passing an electromagnetic wave through it; heat results from the absorption of energy by the water molecules in the food

    microwave oven
    see moresee less

    type of:

    kitchen appliance

    a home appliance used in preparing food

  2. noun

    a short electromagnetic wave (longer than infrared but shorter than radio waves); used for radar and microwave ovens and for transmitting telephone, facsimile, video and data

    see moresee less

    type of:

    electromagnetic radiation, electromagnetic wave, nonparticulate radiation

    radiation consisting of waves of energy associated with electric and magnetic fields resulting from the acceleration of an electric charge

  3. verb

    cook or heat in a microwave oven

    “You can
    microwave the leftovers”
    micro-cook, nuke, zap
    see moresee less

    type of:


    transform and make suitable for consumption by heating

Word Family