as·​tro·​naut | \ ˈas-trə-ˌnȯt How to pronounce astronaut (audio) , -ˌnät\

Definition of astronaut

: a person who travels beyond the earth's atmosphere also : a trainee for spaceflight

Examples of astronaut in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The book follows the story of Cal and Leon, two sons of astronauts who fall for each other amid the drama of the world's first crewed mission to Mars. Gabe Bergado, Teen Vogue, "The Gravity of Us," 8 May 2019 Tests aboard the international space station may help the next generation of astronauts sleep soundly on space flights. Allure, "The 15 Best Face Washes for Oily Skin," 19 Mar. 2019 Both companies have been tapped by NASA to provide passenger spacecraft for the agency to shuttle astronauts from American soil to the International Space Station, with the first test flights scheduled for next year. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Elon Musk won’t be smoking weed in public again, NASA admin says," 30 Nov. 2018 That was part of the process to become a member of the first generation of astronauts. Carol Motsinger,, "59 years ago today, the world met the Mercury 7. Ohio was there, too.," 9 Apr. 2018 The true purpose of the mission is unknown to the astronauts; only the computer HAL 9000 knows, and it's been programmed to lie. USA TODAY, "In 1968, '2001' tried to predict the future. Here's what it got right.," 2 Apr. 2018 The North Face Taps Supreme for Out-of-This-World Jackets Embrace your inner astronaut with this new collection. Jake Woolf, GQ, "The North Face Taps Supreme for Out-of-This-World Jackets," 2 Apr. 2018 The idea is that the floating robot head will not only improve the efficiency of astronauts but also reduce their stress. Anthony Cuthbertson, Newsweek, "IBM Is Sending a Floating Robot Head to Space," 28 Feb. 2018 Any material that can’t be recycled or repurposed is a waste of space and mass; wasted resources or hazardous end-products could be dangerous or fatal to astronauts. Matthew Francis, Ars Technica, "“Life, uh, finds a way”—Applying lessons from evolution to go to Mars," 26 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'astronaut.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of astronaut

1928, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for astronaut

astr- + -naut (as in aeronaut)

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Statistics for astronaut

Last Updated

23 May 2019

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Time Traveler for astronaut

The first known use of astronaut was in 1928

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More Definitions for astronaut



English Language Learners Definition of astronaut

: a person who travels in a spacecraft into outer space


as·​tro·​naut | \ ˈa-strə-ˌnȯt How to pronounce astronaut (audio) \

Kids Definition of astronaut

: a person who travels beyond the earth's atmosphere : a traveler in a spacecraft

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More from Merriam-Webster on astronaut

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with astronaut

Spanish Central: Translation of astronaut

Nglish: Translation of astronaut for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of astronaut for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about astronaut

Comments on astronaut

What made you want to look up astronaut? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to mark by some ceremony or observation

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