Abstract The spatial (three-dimensional) problem of the wear of a wavy punch sliding over an elastic layer bonded to a rigid base, assuming there is complete contact between the punch and the layer, is considered. It is assumed that there is Coulomb friction and wear of the punch. An analytical expression for the contact pressure is constructed using the general Papkovich–Neuber solution, the harmonic functions in which are represented in the form of double Fourier integrals, after which the problem reduces to a linear system of differential equations. It is established that the harmonics constituting the shape of the punch and the contact pressure are shifted with respect to one another in time along the sliding line of the punch. The velocity of this shift depends on the longitudinal and transverse frequencies of the harmonic, that is, dispersion of the waves is observed.