bow wave

[ bou ]
/ baʊ /


the wave generated on either side of a vessel's bow by its forward movement through the water.
a type of shock wave formed in front of a body moving at supersonic speed.

Nearby words

  1. bow street,
  2. bow street runner,
  3. bow thruster,
  4. bow tie,
  5. bow trolley,
  6. bow weight,
  7. bow window,
  8. bow-iron,
  9. bow-wow,
  10. bowditch

Origin of bow wave

First recorded in 1875–80 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bow wave

  • In front you see the bow-wave and behind the body a phenomenon k which closely resembles the eddies formed in the wake of a ship.

  • No general attempt was made to disguise the bow, because the bow-wave was generally visible.

    Visual Illusions|Matthew Luckiesh
  • A moment later we heard the familiar rush of a destroyer's bow-wave, and the ringing of her telegraph as she checked.

  • The prone gunman slid out of the wide double door, pushing a bow-wave of detergent before him.

    The Ambulance Made Two Trips|William Fitzgerald Jenkins