a region of abrupt change of pressure and density moving as a wave front at or above the velocity of sound, caused by an intense explosion or supersonic flow over a body.
a repercussion from a startling event or upheaval; series of aftereffects: shock waves from the recent collapse of one of the nation's largest banks.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use shock wave in a sentence
Whenever theorists tried to model these intricate particle motions and interactions in computer simulations, the supernova’s shock wave would stall and fall back on itself.
Should the plane exceed the speed of sound — dubbed Mach 1 — the waves coalesce into a potentially destructive shock wave called a sonic boom.
He described it as an expanding shock wave from a galactic calamity dating back millions of years.Galaxy-Size Bubbles Discovered Towering Over the Milky Way | Charlie Wood | January 6, 2021 | Quanta Magazine
As a plane approached the sound barrier, the speed of the air passing over the thick wings of that era’s aircraft exceeded Mach 1, producing shock waves that could tear apart the plane.Chuck Yeager has died at 97, but the legacy of his record-breaking flight lives on | Rob Verger | December 8, 2020 | Popular-Science
These shock waves form as air molecules slam into each other, piling up molecules into a high-density, high-pressure and high-temperature wave.Giant lasers help re-create supernovas’ explosive, mysterious physics | Emily Conover | November 12, 2020 | Science News
The Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia has sent a shock wave through the Arab world.
I awoke in mid-air, as the shock wave hurled me against the bedroom's far wall.The Extinction Parade: An Original Zombie Story by Max Brooks | Max Brooks | January 14, 2011 | THE DAILY BEAST
There was a terrific flash of flame and a shock wave of concussion.Islands of Space | John W Campbell
What would the situation there be as to the shock wave which you have heretofore described?Warren Commission (6 of 26): Hearings Vol. VI (of 15) | The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy
The shock wave hit Gordon, knocking him from his feet into the crowd around him.Police Your Planet | Lester del Rey
Recoiling in anticipation of the dread shock wave, Dirrul hurled himself at the Chief.The Instant of Now | Irving E. Cox, Jr.
As the plane roared on—rocking from the shock wave of the explosion—Joe saw a crater and a boiling cloud of smoke and flying sand.Space Platform | Murray Leinster
British Dictionary definitions for shock wave
a feeling of shock, horror, surprise, etc that affects many people as it spreads through a community
the effect created on a queue of moving cars in the lane of a motorway when one car brakes suddenly and the cars behind have to brake as well, causing cars to slow down, sometimes for miles behind the first braking car
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Scientific definitions for shock wave
A large-amplitude wave formed by the sudden compression of the medium through which the wave moves. Shock waves can be caused by explosions or by objects moving through a fluid at a speed greater than the speed of sound.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.