shock wave

noun

Definition of shock wave 

1 : a compressional wave of high amplitude caused by a shock (as from an earthquake or explosion) to the medium through which the wave travels

2 : a violent often pulsating disturbance or reaction shock waves of rebellion

Examples of shock wave in a Sentence

The decision created a shock wave of criticism.

Recent Examples on the Web

CMEs can create a kind of solar wind on steroids, generating shock waves that push energetic particles to relativistic speeds, or velocities that approach the speed of light. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "The New Science of the Sun Will Be Astounding—And Possibly Terrifying," 9 Aug. 2018 Treatment might involve a procedure called extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL), which is when sound waves are used to try to break up the stone. Korin Miller, SELF, "Simone Biles Went to the ER With a Kidney Stone—and Made It to the World Championships Finals the Next Day," 29 Oct. 2018 Here are just some of the symptoms people sick with radiation get: Nausea and vomiting Spontaneous bleeding Severely burnt skin that may peel off The dark grey circle in the middle is where a shock wave does a lot of damage. Alex Ward, Vox, "This is exactly how a nuclear war would kill you," 19 Oct. 2018 But the mere idea of a malicious chip implant has already sent shock waves through the security world, which has traditionally focused on software attacks. Ashley Carman, The Verge, "Chinese spy chips would be a ‘god-mode’ hack, experts say," 4 Oct. 2018 After around three billion years or so of these alpha process supernovae, shock waves started to heat the gases up to warmer temperatures. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Milky Way Died 7 Billion Years Ago And Came Back To Life," 24 Aug. 2018 The January announcement of the new venture by three renowned leaders in technology and finance sent a shock wave through the health care sector, STAT reported. Martin Finucane, BostonGlobe.com, "Bezos, Buffett, Dimon health venture will be based in Boston," 20 June 2018 The shock wave would reach a diameter of nearly 3.2 miles, shattering windows as far as Gramercy Park and the American Museum of Natural History. Daily Intelligencer, "This Is What a Nuclear Bomb Looks Like," 12 June 2018 Take it from veteran Chicago cabby Nnamdi Uwazie: The shock waves from the recent suicides of five New York City taxi and livery drivers are being felt in the Windy City as well. NBC News, "In the shadow of Uber's rise, taxi driver suicides leave cabbies shaken," 7 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shock 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 shock wave

1907, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

6 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for shock wave

The first known use of shock wave was in 1907

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More Definitions for shock wave

shock wave

noun

English Language Learners Definition of shock wave

: a movement of extremely high air pressure that is caused by an explosion, an earthquake, etc.

: a usually negative response or reaction that many people have to a particular thing

More from Merriam-Webster on shock wave

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shock wave

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about shock wave

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