noun, often attributive
short·​wave | \ ˈshȯrt-ˌwāv How to pronounce shortwave (audio) \

Definition of shortwave

1 : a radio wave having a wavelength between 10 and 100 meters
2 : a radio transmitter or receiver using shortwaves
3 : electromagnetic radiation having a wavelength equal to or less than that of visible light

Examples of shortwave in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Despite the best efforts of the North Korean dictatorship, news gets into that country, via shortwave radio and other means. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, "Up from North Korea," 4 May 2020 So are television signals, shortwave radio, AM, FM and satellite radio, and even the light from the sun and household light fixtures. Kim Komando, USA TODAY, "The great 5G coronavirus conspiracy," 20 Apr. 2020 But on that December Saturday, Clinton listened to the game via shortwave radio with a group of American friends. George Schroeder, USA TODAY, "50 years ago, the Big Shootout between Arkansas and Texas lived up to billing," 6 Dec. 2019 The service beams its Uighur-language reports for two hours each day via shortwave radio and satellite. The Economist, "To suppress news of Xinjiang’s gulag, China threatens Uighurs abroad," 24 Oct. 2019 Around the same time, shortwave radio allowed Americans to hear broadcasts from overseas, and some noticed that stations in other countries concluded their programs by playing their anthems, Clague said. Julia Jacobs, New York Times, "Local TV Revives a Bygone Tradition: Airing the National Anthem," 24 Oct. 2019 In an interview with CNN Business, Angus said most people in the region don't normally use shortwave to listen to their programs. Hadas Gold, CNN, "BBC is increasing its shortwave radio shows to get past the news lockdown in Indian-controlled Kashmir," 16 Aug. 2019 Most incoming shortwave radiation from the sun passes through the atmosphere without being absorbed. Jason West, The Conversation, "Why carbon dioxide has such outsized influence on Earth’s climate," 13 Sep. 2019 Newsrooms were later stocked with shortwave radio sets to speed up reporting of far-off events, according to a company history. Rachel Siegel,, "Gannett merger marks shift for troubled American newspaper giant," 5 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shortwave.' 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 shortwave

1907, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for shortwave

Time Traveler

The first known use of shortwave was in 1907

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Cite this Entry

“Shortwave.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for shortwave


How to pronounce shortwave (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of shortwave

: a radio wave with a wavelength between 10 and 100 meters
: a radio or receiver that uses shortwaves


short·​wave | \ ˈshȯrt-ˈwāv How to pronounce shortwave (audio) \

Medical Definition of shortwave

1 : a radio wave having a wavelength between 10 and 100 meters
2 : electromagnetic radiation having a wavelength equal to or less than that of visible light

More from Merriam-Webster on shortwave

Nglish: Translation of shortwave for Spanish Speakers

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