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 The company said wave engines operate by using pressure waves instead of rotating parts like a conventional turbine jet engines. Michael Verdon, Robb Report, 6 Mar. 2024 The strength of blast exposure is often measured in pounds per square inch of the pressure wave. Dave Philipps, New York Times, 8 Mar. 2024 Cosmologists have measured the most common wavelength of those frozen pressure waves and used it to calculate a value for the Hubble constant of 67.6 km/s/Mpc, with an uncertainty of less than 1%. Quanta Magazine, 19 Jan. 2024 The Sydney team exploited stimulated Brillouin scattering, a technique which involves converting electrical fields into pressure waves in certain insulators, such as optical fibers. IEEE Spectrum, 25 Dec. 2023 Another is based on analysis of the shape and amplitude of the pulse wave, which is the pressure wave depicting the propagation of the blood pumped by the heart through the entire arterial tree, and whose characteristics depend in part on the rigidity of the artery walls. Smithsonian Magazine, 25 Oct. 2023 Half of the Sanyo Shinkansen Line consists of sections of tunnels, and trains rushing into a tunnel at very high speeds generate strong atmospheric pressure waves akin to the compression waves produced by diving birds. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 24 Oct. 2023 The transducer receives the signal pulses, creating a pressure wave in the tank that is reflected back at the fluid interface (Figure 6). IEEE Spectrum, 10 Dec. 2018 When the aircraft exceeds the speed of sound – at sea level, about 760 mph – these pressure waves collect in front of the craft and compress to form shock waves. George Petras, USA TODAY, 5 June 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pressure 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

1942, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pressure wave was in 1942

Dictionary Entries Near pressure wave

Cite this Entry

“Pressure wave.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition

pressure wave

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

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