1. a movement, trend, or vogue, as in art, literature, or politics, that breaks with traditional concepts, values, techniques, or the like.
2. (often caps.) a group of leaders or representatives of such a movement, esp. of French film directors of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Cf. nouvelle vague.
3. (often caps.) a largely minimalist but emotionally intense style of rock music, being an outgrowth of punk rock in the late 1970s, typified by spare or repetitive arrangements, and emphasizing energetic, unpolished performance.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.