P wave

[ pee-weyv ]
/ ˈpi ˌweɪv /
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noun Geology.

a longitudinal earthquake wave that travels through the interior of the earth and is usually the first conspicuous wave to be recorded by a seismograph.



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Also called pri·ma·ry wave [prahy-mer-ee weyv prahy-muh-ree], /ˈpraɪ mɛr i ˌweɪv ˈpraɪ mə ri/, .
Compare L wave, S wave.

Origin of P wave

First recorded in 1935–40

Words nearby P wave

PVR, PVS, Pvt., PW, PWA, P wave, PWC, P.W.D., pwn, pwr, pwt
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for P wave

Medical definitions for P wave

P wave


A deflection in an electrocardiogram indicating depolarization of the atria.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for P wave

P wave

See primary wave.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.