ballistic missile

plural ballistic missiles

Definition of ballistic missile

: a usually rocket-powered missile that is launched in a high arc under guidance for its ascent but that is unpowered and unguided once it begins its descent — compare cruise missile, guided missile

Examples of ballistic missile in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web An emergency alert had been sent to the state's residents saying a ballistic missile was on its way and everyone was to seek immediate shelter. Charles Trepany, USA TODAY, "Jim Carrey faces death, family pain and a bloodthirsty Gwyneth Paltrow in apocalyptic novel," 7 July 2020 Iran retaliated with a ballistic missile strike targeting U.S. troops in Iraq. Washington Post, "World Digest: June 29, 2020," 29 June 2020 Iran retaliated with a ballistic missile strike targeting American troops in Iraq. Time, "Iran Issues Arrest Warrant for President Trump, Asks For Interpol Assistance," 29 June 2020 Iran retaliated with a ballistic missile strike targeting American troops in Iraq. Greg Norman | Fox News, Fox News, "Iran issues arrest warrant for Trump over Soleimani killing, US calls it 'propaganda stunt'," 29 June 2020 Its shipyards are responsible for the bulk of the nation’s nuclear submarines, including the forthcoming Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine, a key cog in the U.S. military’s nuclear deterrence strategy. Dallas News, "Motley Fool: General Dynamics has underperformed but looks better long-term," 28 June 2020 Yemeni rebels carried out drone and ballistic missile strikes on the Saudi Arabian capital, targeting the ministries of defense and intelligence as well as an air base, a rebel military spokesman claimed Tuesday. Sarah Dadouch,, "Yemeni rebels announce missile and drone strikes on Saudi capital," 23 June 2020 Kim, who unilaterally suspended nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests during talks with Washington and Seoul, entered the new year vowing to bolster his nuclear deterrent. Greg Norman | Fox News, Fox News, "North Korea marks 2-year anniversary of Trump-Kim summit by vowing to build up military," 12 June 2020 In that world, the treaty’s verification measures—the sort that allowed American inspectors to see Russia’s fancy new hypersonic boost-gliding intercontinental ballistic missile warhead up close, for instance—would evaporate. Ankit Panda, The New Republic, "The U.S. Can’t “Win” an Arms Race With Russia and China," 27 May 2020

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

1950, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for ballistic missile

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The first known use of ballistic missile was in 1950

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Statistics for ballistic missile

Last Updated

10 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ballistic missile.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for ballistic missile

ballistic missile


English Language Learners Definition of ballistic missile

: a weapon that is shot through the sky over a great distance and then falls to the ground and explodes

More from Merriam-Webster on ballistic missile

Britannica English: Translation of ballistic missile for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about ballistic missile

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