longitudinal wave

noun

Definition of longitudinal wave 

: a wave (such as a sound wave) in which the particles of the medium vibrate in the direction of the line of advance of the wave

Examples of longitudinal wave in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The first are longitudinal waves, moving back and forth along the peloton, usually caused when a rider slows to avoid a collision or brakes suddenly. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "What we can learn about crowd behavior by watching the Tour de France," 19 Nov. 2018 The longitudinal waves triggered by a rider slowing or braking spread twice as fast as the transverse waves triggered by riders moving side to side. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "What we can learn about crowd behavior by watching the Tour de France," 19 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'longitudinal wave.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of longitudinal wave

1813, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

14 Dec 2018

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The first known use of longitudinal wave was in 1813

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More from Merriam-Webster on longitudinal wave

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about longitudinal wave

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