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bow wave

[bou] /baʊ/
noun
1.
the wave generated on either side of a vessel's bow by its forward movement through the water.
2.
a type of shock wave formed in front of a body moving at supersonic speed.
Origin
1875-1880
1875-80
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for bow wave
  • What's interesting is that the trajectory of the smaller ball follows the bow wave created by the larger ball.
  • Now it is a roiling brown, and the cargo boats throw up a huge bow wave as they inch upriver.
  • Often groups of dolphins will come to a boat and ride the bow wave for long distances.
  • Another concern is the bow wave from a high speed train.
  • The managers and owners were pushing a new, clean marina bow wave of change.
  • Should dolphins or porpoises choose to ride the bow wave of your vessel, avoid sudden course changes.
Encyclopedia Article for bow wave

bow shock

progressive disturbance propagated through a fluid such as water or air as the result of displacement by the foremost point of an object moving through it at a speed greater than the speed of a wave moving across the water. Viewed from above, the crest of the bow wave of a moving ship is V-shaped; the angle of the V is determined by the relative speeds of the ship and of the propagation of waves in the water.In three-dimensional space-for example, when describing the wave produced by a plane flying at supersonic speed-the bow wave is conical in shape. In this case an observer on the ground experiences a sonic boom when the bow wave passes. See also wave motion.

Learn more about bow shock with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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8
9
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