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

After Williamson left the game just 33 seconds into the contest, the shock waves spread around the sports world. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, "Sneaker Blowout Science: How Zion Williamson’s Nikes Came Apart," 22 Feb. 2019 Brazil’s former President Michel Temer has been arrested in the latest breakthrough in the Car Wash investigation, sending shock waves through Congress as the country struggles to move on from the five-year-long corruption scandal. Luciana Magalhães, WSJ, "Former Brazilian President Michel Temer Arrested in Car Wash Corruption Probe," 21 Mar. 2019 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of shock wave

1907, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about shock wave

Dictionary Entries near shock wave

shock troops

shock tube

shock value

shock wave

shod

shodden

shoddy

Statistics for shock wave

Last Updated

12 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for shock wave

The first known use of shock wave was in 1907

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on shock wave

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

WORD OF THE DAY

an act or instance of returning to life

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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