sound barrier


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

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,, "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,, "Nick Williams continues to make most of playing time with Phillies," 14 June 2018 Unity also broke the sound barrier for the first time, hitting a top speed of Mach 1.87 during the powered flight. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "Virgin Galactic Conducts First Rocket-Powered Flight of VSS Unity," 5 Apr. 2018 Called the Low Boom Flight Demonstrator, the plane aims to achieve what its name suggests: reduce the ear-splitting, sonic boom that occurs when a plane breaks the sound barrier. Alex Stuckey, San Antonio Express-News, "NASA plans supersonic jet that could cut commercial flight times in half," 12 Apr. 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.

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First Known Use of sound barrier

1939, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

4 Dec 2018

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The first known use of sound barrier was in 1939

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