ballistic

adjective
bal·​lis·​tic | \ bə-ˈli-stik How to pronounce ballistic (audio) \

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 How to pronounce ballistically (audio) \ adverb

Examples of ballistic in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples on the Web

Cooksey was arrested at the scene, and in the weeks that followed, detectives were allegedly able to link him and the gun used to ballistic evidence found at the scenes of several recent homicides. Jon Schuppe, NBC News, "Suspected serial killer linked to nine deaths in Arizona, cops say," 18 Jan. 2018 Unlike the United States and Russia, China was not a signatory to the INF Treaty and developed a wide array of ballistic and cruise missiles to compensate for lack of long range attack aircraft and bombers. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Pentagon Prepares to Build Banned Missiles as Treaty Expires," 11 Mar. 2019 Flying at high speed within the atmosphere, these missiles wouldn't have the guidance problems of ballistic anti-ship missiles. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "What You Need to Know About the South China Sea, the World's Next Hot Spot," 27 Feb. 2019 Russia also claims the U.S. has launched banned missiles as targets in anti-ballistic-missile tests. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Why the U.S. Is Quitting a Key Nuclear Weapons Treaty," 5 Dec. 2018 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

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

23 May 2019

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Time Traveler for ballistic

The first known use of ballistic was in 1764

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