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

Expanding the Walls teen program, who sent shock waves through the crowd with a musical performance. Isiah Magsino, Vogue, "Alicia Keys and More Attend Harlem’s Studio Museum’s Annual Luncheon," 29 Apr. 2019 These warheads cause massive shock waves that reflect off the seafloor. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "What Putin Would Nuke," 5 Mar. 2018 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

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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shoddy

Statistics for shock wave

Last Updated

10 May 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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