bal·​lis·​tic | \ bə-ˈli-stik \

Definition of ballistic

1 : extremely and usually suddenly excited, upset, or angry : wild He went ballistic when he saw the dent in his car. and the crowd goes ballistic
2 : of or relating to the science of the motion of projectiles in flight
3 exercise : being or characterized by repeated bouncing ballistic stretching
4 physics, of an object in motion : behaving like a projectile But the Bell Labs switch uses such a low current that the few ballistic electrons are a distance of a micrometer or more apart …— Robert Pool
5 of a material : capable of resisting or stopping bullets or other projectiles ballistic glass ballistic nylon … engineered specifically to be worn under ballistic vests and shirts.— K. M. Reese

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Other Words from ballistic

ballistically \ bə-​ˈli-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Examples of ballistic in a Sentence

she went ballistic when she discovered her sister using her nail polish

Recent Examples on the Web

Washington has sought to constrain Iran’s ballistic-missile programs and counter its assertive posture in the region. Sune Engel Rasmussen, WSJ, "Iran Vows to Continue Military Expansion Despite U.S. Threats," 11 Feb. 2019 This sent the Soyuz spacecraft on a ballistic return trajectory to Earth that saved the lives of NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Two months after mishap, Russian Soyuz rockets back into space with crew," 3 Dec. 2018 He was convicted in 1994 for the murder of Andy Ascher, 22, during a robbery in Rockford, but last year Pursley, 52, won a new trial because ballistic testing proved the gun prosecutors used as evidence was not the homicide weapon. Ivan Moreno, The Seattle Times, "Illinois police accused of planting gun in 1994 murder case," 13 Nov. 2018 Just recently, the foundation bought more than 1,000 ballistic helmets for uniformed officers. Cortlynn Stark, kansascity, "With 100 teddy bears and toothbrushes, KCPD social workers hope to comfort kids," 25 June 2018 Luggage doesn't have to be a sea of black ballistic nylon. Lale Arikoglu, Condé Nast Traveler, "Innovators: How Indré Rockefeller, Co-Founder of Paravel, Made Luggage Romantic Again," 19 Sep. 2018 Last week, Onofri said investigators were collecting ballistic evidence that may help determine which bullets struck the bystanders. Robert Moran,, "'Shots fired! Shots fired! … Everybody out!' Terror and chaos at Trenton arts festival," 27 June 2018 Barr compared Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett to an ape and the media went ballistic., "Calendar Letters: Samantha Bee, Roseanne Barr and competing views of hypocrisy," 9 June 2018 The Cessnas also sport ballistic panels to protect the crew and equipment from small-arms fire, a missile-warning system, and missile countermeasures. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "US buys Afghanistan “Eliminator” attack planes—Cessnas with Hellfires," 14 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ballistic.' 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 ballistic

1764, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for ballistic

Latin ballista

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Statistics for ballistic

Last Updated

14 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for ballistic

The first known use of ballistic was in 1764

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