sound barrier

Also called sonic barrier, transonic barrier. (not in technical use) a hypothetical barrier to flight beyond the speed of sound, so postulated because aircraft undergo an abruptly increasing drag force induced by compression of the surrounding air when traveling near the speed of sound.
break the sound barrier, to travel faster than the speed of sound.

1950–55 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
sound barrier
(not in technical usage) sonic barrier, Also called: transonic barrier a hypothetical barrier to flight at or above the speed of sound, when a sudden large increase in drag occurs

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
sound barrier  
The sharp increase in drag experienced by aircraft approaching the speed of sound. Also called sonic barrier.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

sound barrier definition

The sudden increase in air resistance that occurs when an aircraft approaches the speed of sound. This is also called the sonic barrier.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Breaking the sound barrier generates a sonic boom, so supersonic travel is
  heavily restricted over land.
New craft have broken the sound barrier, mastered vertical take-off and
  landing, and visited the moon.
Science used to think you couldn't break the sound barrier either.
It is the first aircraft to break the sound barrier on biofuel.
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