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wave front

noun, Physics.
a surface, real or imaginary, that is the locus of all adjacent points at which the phase of oscillation is the same.
Origin of wave front
1865-70 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for wave-front
Historical Examples
  • The contrary is the case when the wave-front passes into a medium where its velocity is greater.

    The Mechanism of Life Stphane Leduc
  • Hence the wave-front is flattened, the curvature of the refracted wave being less than that of the original wave of diffusion.

    The Mechanism of Life Stphane Leduc
  • The middle of the wave-front now travels faster than the flanks, and the curvature is increased.

    The Mechanism of Life Stphane Leduc
  • Hence the wave-front is tilted towards the base of the prism, and this tilting is repeated when the wave-front leaves the prism.

    The Mechanism of Life Stphane Leduc
  • With a dense prism, the wave-front of the shorter waves is more tilted towards the base than the wave-front of the longer waves.

    The Mechanism of Life Stphane Leduc
wave-front in Science
wave front  
The set of points in space reached by a wave or vibration at the same instant as the wave travels through a medium. Wave fronts generally form a continuous line or surface. The lines formed by crests of ripples on a pond, for example, correspond to curved wave fronts.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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