sound barrier

noun

Definition of sound barrier

: a sudden large increase in aerodynamic drag that occurs as the speed of an aircraft approaches the speed of sound

Examples of sound barrier in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Current laws prohibit supersonic planes from breaking the sound barrier over land. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Lockheed Martin Has Started Building NASA's X-59 Experimental Supersonic Jet," 20 Nov. 2018 Now, Lockheed has committed to a timeline for the maiden test flight of its X-59 Quiet Supersonic Technology (QueSST) aircraft, a demonstration plane that aims to reduce the noise generated when an aircraft breaks the sound barrier. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Lockheed Martin Has Started Building NASA's X-59 Experimental Supersonic Jet," 20 Nov. 2018 The current debate isn’t over lifting the ban on breaking the sound barrier over land. Andrew Tangel, WSJ, "New York-London in 3½ Hours? Supersonic Travel May Be Back," 18 July 2018 Next, the test pilots will fly the aircraft over populated communities around 2023 to see if the X-59 does what it was designed to do: break the sound barrier without rattling the cages of those below with sonic booms. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "Quiet Boom: Meet the NASA Test Pilot Who'll Fly the Next Supersonic X-Plane," 15 Aug. 2018 James Kearney and his dog, Marley, near a sound barrier Sunoco erected in East Goshen Township Road for construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline. Andrew Maykuth, Philly.com, "How Sunoco's Mariner East pipeline is affecting real estate prices in Pa's Chester and Delaware Counties," 1 June 2018 While trimming trees on the freeway side of a sound barrier less than a mile north of Florin Road, a Caltrans work crew discovered the 59-year-old man's body, CHP Officer James Young said. Jordan Cutler-tietjen, sacbee, "Man discovered behind trees near I-5 committed suicide, CHP says," 10 July 2018 That's a smoldering tractor trailer over the sound barrier wall. Chelsea Prince, ajc, "BREAKING: Fiery tractor-trailer crash shuts down I-75 North," 9 July 2018 Yeager, 95, became the first pilot to break the sound barrier in 1947. Scott Lauber, Philly.com, "Nick Williams continues to make most of playing time with Phillies," 14 June 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of sound barrier

1939, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sound barrier

Share sound barrier

Statistics for sound barrier

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sound barrier

The first known use of sound barrier was in 1939

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on sound barrier

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sound barrier

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about sound barrier

Comments on sound barrier

What made you want to look up sound barrier? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

of or relating to a parable or parabola

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Green Quiz

  • shamrock
  • What is the best definition of green-eyed monster?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!