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 Ward isn’t breaking any sound barriers by any means. Khari Nixon, Spin, 28 Aug. 2023 In the meantime, click here for a trial preview packed with facts, including whether explosions are increasing at the plant and what happened to a sound barrier wall the company built there. The Enquirer, 6 July 2023 But a lack of information about how well foliage can block out a myriad of city sounds, combined with the infinite number of ways greenery can be landscaped, makes narrowing in on the perfect green sound barrier configuration a challenge. Leslie Nemo, Discover Magazine, 27 Oct. 2021 Chuck Yeager, who was the first aviator to break the sound barrier in 1947 and who later pushed jets to the edge of the atmosphere in tests that provided foundations for future space missions. Brian Murphy, Washington Post, 6 Jan. 2023 Chuck Yeager, who had gained fame in 1947 as the first flier to break the sound barrier — to put the MIG-15 through strenuous maneuvers. Richard Goldstein, New York Times, 6 Jan. 2023 Chuck Yeager, who had gained fame in 1947 as the first flyer to break the sound barrier — to put the MiG-15 through strenuous maneuvers. Richard Goldstein,, 6 Jan. 2023 Bahm is part of the team designing NASA’s X-59, the plane at the center of the agency’s move to break the sound barrier quietly. Jacob Siegal, BGR, 5 Jan. 2023 The land speed record was set by Andy Green in the Thrust SSC, which was the first car to break the sound barrier, according to Guinness World Records. Jacob Livesay, USA TODAY, 9 Nov. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sound barrier.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1939, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sound barrier was in 1939

Dictionary Entries Near sound barrier

Cite this Entry

“Sound barrier.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

sound barrier

: the sudden large increase in resistance that the air offers to an aircraft nearing the speed of sound

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