sonic boom


Definition of sonic boom

: a sound resembling an explosion produced when a shock wave formed at the nose of an aircraft traveling at supersonic speed reaches the ground

called also sonic bang

Examples of sonic boom in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web And then, on Wednesday afternoon, came the sonic boom. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, 17 Mar. 2022 In one famous example, engineers in Japan modeled the front of their high-speed bullet train after the shape of a kingfisher's beak to make the design more streamlined and eliminate the sonic boom. Melina Walling, The Arizona Republic, 22 Apr. 2022 The waves generated beyond Tonga, however, may have come from the sonic boom of the blast itself, which Lynett said is a new phenomenon. Jonah Valdez, Los Angeles Times, 22 Jan. 2022 One likely explanation is that expanding debris from the merger generated a shock wave, akin to a sonic boom, in addition to the jets. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 3 Mar. 2022 The sonic boom in Illinois follows a similar incident in Oregon last week. CBS News, 22 Dec. 2021 The 142nd Wing of the Oregon Air National Guard said the sonic boom last Tuesday was caused by aircraft. CBS News, 22 Dec. 2021 Hofford said the pilot who caused the sonic boom was pointed at a 45 degree angle toward the coast, which aimed the boom toward the coastline. oregonlive, 15 Dec. 2021 The eruption set off a sonic boom that could be heard as far away as Alaska. Nick Perry, Anchorage Daily News, 18 Jan. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sonic boom.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of sonic boom

1952, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for sonic boom

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The first known use of sonic boom was in 1952

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Statistics for sonic boom

Last Updated

11 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Sonic boom.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for sonic boom

sonic boom


Kids Definition of sonic boom

: a sound like an explosion that is made by an aircraft traveling faster than the speed of sound

More from Merriam-Webster on sonic boom

Nglish: Translation of sonic boom for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about sonic boom


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