Share this entry

shock wave Line breaks: shock wave

Definition of shock wave in English:


1A sharp change of pressure in a narrow region travelling through a medium, especially air, caused by explosion or by a body moving faster than sound: the shock waves of the explosion
More example sentences
  • At the site of the eruption the bang surely would have been deadly on its own, purely from sound pressure, like the shock wave of an atomic bomb.
  • The explosion caused a shock wave of flames like ripples in the water when a stone is cast in.
  • As a result, an aircraft creates a sudden discontinuity in pressure and temperature called a shock wave as it breaks the sound barrier.
1.1 (usually shock waves) A widespread feeling of shock caused by an unexpected event: the oil embargo sent shock waves through the American economy
More example sentences
  • The success of the Jews in driving Rome from Jerusalem sent shock waves throughout the Roman Empire.
  • The charges - which have stunned Iceland - will also send shockwaves through the UK high street.
  • The job losses are bound to create shock waves.

Definition of shock wave in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day haughty
Pronunciation: ˈhɔːti
arrogantly superior and disdainful