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

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 And the shock waves reverberated 200 miles away in Boston, where another woman of color who is challenging an entrenched incumbent was clearly buoyed by the surprising turn of events. New York Times, "Will a Shocker in New York Have a Ripple Effect in Massachusetts?," 28 June 2018 Mexico, of course, started the shock waves in its first game by beating Germany 1-0. Ann Killion, SFChronicle.com, "At World Cup, surprises are the new norm," 27 June 2018 Tim Ryan The Monday following Thanksgiving sent shock waves through Ohio and Michigan. WSJ, "Who Read What in 2018: Politics and Policy," 10 Dec. 2018 The waveforms of those signals serve as an audio fingerprint—in this case, evidence for two black holes spiraling inward toward each other and merging in a massive collision event, sending powerful shock waves across spacetime. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Danish physicists claim to cast doubt on detection of gravitational waves," 1 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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Statistics for shock wave

Last Updated

15 Feb 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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