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

The video by the Outrider Foundation explains step-by-step how to break down a Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile, from disassembling and disposing of the rocket side to the nuclear weapon payload itself. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "How to Dismantle a Nuclear Missile," 10 Apr. 2019 Instead, it is meant to be launched after a nuclear attack on Russia, literally going under America’s ballistic missile defenses. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Russia Releases Test Video of Poseidon Nuclear Attack Drone," 22 Feb. 2019 In addition to beefing up its nuclear arsenal, Belousov said, the U.S. is developing a global ballistic missile defense. Edith M. Lederer, The Seattle Times, "Russia says US is increasing nukes in military planning," 22 Oct. 2018 These include our current anti-ballistic missile defense systems. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Mike Pence introduces Pentagon report calling for a space force," 9 Aug. 2018 The intercontinental ballistic missile that North Korea launched in November was deemed capable of reaching New York or Washington, D.C. Barbara Demick,, "Kim Jong Un, the 'perfect dictator,' gets ready for the spotlight in Singapore," 10 June 2018 There's a $2 billion expansion underway at Fort Greely to support ballistic missile defense. Anchorage Daily News, "The lack of action on Alaska’s fiscal crisis is destroying confidence and stifling our economy," 2 Feb. 2018 That morning, the midnight-shift supervisor at the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency decided to conduct a spontaneous ballistic missile defense drill during the transition to the day shift, according to the report. Daniella Silva, NBC News, "Worker who sent Hawaii missile false alarm believed threat was real," 30 Jan. 2018 The vice president is also scheduled to stop in Alaska to review intercontinental ballistic missile defense systems., "Pence to Lead US Delegation to Olympics," 10 Jan. 2018

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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Last Updated

24 May 2019

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Time Traveler for ballistic missile

The first known use of ballistic missile was in 1950

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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

Comments on ballistic missile

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


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

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