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Chemists have discovered, and recently actively exploited, the fact that subjecting certain molecules to ultrasound waves can bring about transformations that give insight into the correlation between classical tribological processes and the mechanical action caused by collapsing microbubbles when sonic waves propagate through a liquid medium. Chemical transformations induced by ultrasound take place in solution via mechanisms that are markedly different from those associated with molecular activation in the solid state. Both fields, however, share some striking similarities and numerous sonochemical reactions can be rationalized in purely mechanical terms. This tutorial review examines the tribochemical interpretation of sonochemical reactivity and how the multifaceted action of cavitational phenomena determines molecular evolution. A series of case studies involving solids, crystals, and polymers illustrate the mechanical properties of sound waves.