S wave


: a wave (as from an earthquake) in which the propagated disturbance is a shear in an elastic medium (such as the earth) compare pressure wave

Examples of S wave in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Hough explains further that while the waves themselves travel the same way, in the sense that a P wave is still a P wave, and a S wave is still a S wave, however, their speeds and amplitudes will change depending on the rock type. Allison Chinchar, CNN, 20 Dec. 2022 In an earthquake, P waves — or compressional waves — arrive first but usually don’t cause much damage; they’re followed by the S wave, or shear wave. Los Angeles Times, 27 Oct. 2022 Also, earthquakes produce two different types of waves: a P wave followed by a stronger, lower-frequency S wave. Popular Science, 11 Aug. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'S wave.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



First Known Use

1913, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of S wave was in 1913

Dictionary Entries Near S wave

Cite this Entry

“S wave.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/S%20wave. Accessed 24 Jul. 2024.

Medical Definition

S wave

: the negative downward deflection in the QRS complex of an electrocardiogram that follows the R wave
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