pressure wave


Definition of pressure wave

: a wave (such as a sound wave) in which the propagated disturbance is a variation of pressure in a material medium

called also P-wave

Examples of pressure wave in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This hemisphere is the pressure wave produced by the explosion. Rachel Lance, Wired, "The Tragic Physics of the Deadly Explosion in Beirut," 6 Aug. 2020 But in the real world, the pressure wave from a nearby explosion can kill you without even knocking you over. Matthew Hutson, WSJ, "‘In the Waves’ Review: Up She Rises," 1 May 2020 Turbulence, previous studies have shown, can actually propel these pressure waves to even faster speeds. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "The Big Bang Probably Happened Because of Turbulence," 4 Nov. 2019 When activated, an exploder detonates a gas mixture, deploying a pressure wave onto the surface of the snow to trigger a slide. Gregory Thomas,, "In Tahoe, avalanches pit residents against ski resorts," 1 Apr. 2020 All that power translates into quite a bit of noise, which NASA dampens by dousing the launch area in curtains of water to absorb pressure waves. Jessica Boddy, Popular Science, "Ranked: the loudest sounds ever measured," 3 Feb. 2020 Rather than force their way through this pressure wave, ramjets suck it in, using the abundant oxygen in it as an oxidizer. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Ramjets Will Drastically Improve Missiles and Artillery Shells," 17 Oct. 2019 The incident last week resulted in a fire as well as two injuries that were caused when a resulting pressure wave set off airbags in two nearby passenger vehicles, according to Autoweek. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "After June fires, energy group says hydrogen is future’s fuel," 16 June 2019 While passive sonar relies on sound emitted from submarines, sea life such as goliath groupers and snapping shrimp might be disturbed by the underwater pressure wave from a passing submarine or from a large shadow passing over them. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "DARPA Wants to Turn Sealife Into a Giant Submarine Detection Network," 5 Mar. 2019

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

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First Known Use of pressure wave

1942, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for pressure wave

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The first known use of pressure wave was in 1942

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Statistics for pressure wave

Last Updated

19 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pressure wave.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for pressure wave

pressure wave


Medical Definition of pressure wave

: a wave (as a sound wave) in which the propagated disturbance is a variation of pressure in a material medium (as air)

More from Merriam-Webster on pressure wave Encyclopedia article about pressure wave

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