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

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 The effects were likely caused by pressure wave events, which radiated the effects of the blast for 600 miles or more in all directions. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "World War II Bombs Sent Shockwaves Into Space," 26 Sep. 2018 Residents under the bombs would routinely recall being thrown through the air by the pressure waves of air mines exploding, and window casements and doors would be blown off their hinges. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "World War II bombings weakened upper atmosphere at edge of space," 25 Sep. 2018 If that’s the case, then perhaps a big bomber like the B-1, or many smaller jets, could instead fly low and fast over wildfires, using the pressure waves from sonic booms to snuff out fires. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Should the U.S. Air Force Bomb Forest Fires?," 8 Aug. 2018 The fast collapse generates pressure waves that leave the fluid as sound waves. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Cavitation dilemma resolved in knuckle-cracking model," 5 Apr. 2018 Traveling much farther than the fireball, a colossal pressure wave would hurtle forth faster than the speed of sound, generating winds up to 500 miles per hour. Daily Intelligencer, "This Is What a Nuclear Bomb Looks Like," 12 June 2018 These lasers produce a pulse of pressure waves deep below the skin’s surface to inflame it, thereby stimulating new collagen growth. Jessica Chia, Allure, "Dermatologists Explain the Best Laser Treatments for Dark Skin Tones," 19 Apr. 2018 The fireball and air pressure wave created by such an enormous explosion wipes the base and its pesky radar off the map. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "What Putin Would Nuke," 5 Mar. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of pressure wave

1942, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pressure wave

Statistics for pressure wave

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pressure wave

The first known use of pressure wave was in 1942

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pressure wave Encyclopedia article about pressure wave

Comments on pressure wave

What made you want to look up pressure wave? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not constant or steady

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!