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

China’s slowing economy is sending shock waves through its trading partners around the world. William Boston, WSJ, "China Slowdown Hits Growth Around the Globe," 31 Jan. 2019 Like the snap! of a bullet, a supersonic aircraft trails a shock wave that expresses itself as noise. Daniel Ford, WSJ, "‘Chasing the Demon’ Review: Boom Times for Jet Pilots," 27 July 2018 When her body was found on Tuesday, a shock wave shook the world. Jeneé Osterheldt, kansascity, "Superwomen like Kate Spade smile to hide the pain. Time to hang up the cape and live," 5 June 2018 The gas hits its neighbor like a hammer, triggering an explosion on the star’s surface that sends a shock wave deep below, igniting a second—the Type Ia detonation—in and around the star’s core. Shannon Hall, Scientific American, "The Milky Way's Speediest Stars Could Solve a 50-Year-Old Mystery," 9 May 2018 When a bomb goes off, the shock wave of the blast can actually harm some of the tissue in the parts of the brain that process sound. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "What Is Tinnitus?," 30 Jan. 2019 The aircraft, about the size of an F-16, is shaped to cancel the sonic boom by separating the shock waves with various lifting surfaces (like canards). Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Supersonic Airliners Are About to Take Off. Again.," 7 Jan. 2019 The shock wave rattled the Green Berets inside the cookhouse. Michael M. Phillips, WSJ, "‘I Think I’ve Been Shot’: Nighttime Raid in Afghanistan Reveals New U.S. Strategy," 5 Dec. 2018 Ever the Marvel fan, Mikel-Stites pushed for Dazzler, who has sonoluminescent powers (think the sonic shock wave produced by the powerful snap of a mantis shrimp's claw, writ large). Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Insect-inspired microfluidics could help Ant-Man and the Wasp breathe," 18 Nov. 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

15 Mar 2019

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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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