shock wave


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 The plume of smoke, shock wave and finally audible blast barely caught the attention of those enjoying the warm day along the river bank. New York Times, 13 May 2021 But officials expect the county to be back on track with its prepandemic revenue growth projections in 2023 — barring another pandemic or economic shock wave. Scott Huddleston, San Antonio Express-News, 21 June 2021 ShakeAlert is designed to give residents a momentary warning before a quake’s shock wave hits them. oregonlive, 6 June 2021 During the permit process, all three projects presented calculations regarding vapor cloud explosions based on small potential spills and the model that critics say lowballs the shock wave emanating from a blast. Washington Post, 3 June 2021 These ghostly low-mass particles, created when a neutron star forms, could spur on bubbles of elements that rocket away, pushing the shock wave onward and allowing for a supernova. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 27 Apr. 2021 Either the explosion’s shock wave will crush your internal organs, or the hot ash and gas will asphyxiate you. New York Times, 18 Mar. 2021 South Carroll sent eight batters to the plate during the seventh inning of Thursday’s game against Francis Scott Key, something that barely sent a shock wave through the Cavaliers’ dugout. Pat Stoetzer,, 27 May 2021 Should the plane exceed the speed of sound — dubbed Mach 1 — the waves coalesce into a potentially destructive shock wave called a sonic boom. Quanta Magazine, 19 Jan. 2021

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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Time Traveler for shock wave

Time Traveler

The first known use of shock wave was in 1907

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Dictionary Entries Near shock wave

shock value

shock wave


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Statistics for shock wave

Last Updated

13 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Shock wave.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Aug. 2021.

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More Definitions for shock wave

shock wave


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 Encyclopedia article about shock wave


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