ballistics

noun

bal·​lis·​tics bə-ˈli-stiks How to pronounce ballistics (audio)
plural in form but singular or plural in construction
1
a
: the science of the motion of projectiles in flight
b
: the flight characteristics of a projectile
2
a
: the study of the processes within a firearm as it is fired
b
: the firing characteristics of a firearm or cartridge

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Salazar confirmed that all seven shootings have been connected through ballistics, but that the investigation is still in its early stages. CBS News, 21 Oct. 2022 The killings weren’t robberies and did not appear to be linked to gang activity, authorities said during the search for a suspect, and the shootings were linked by ballistics. Andrea Marks, Rolling Stone, 18 Oct. 2022 Eddie Johnson said in the days after the shooting that ballistics tests confirmed shell casings from both shootings came from the same gun. Laura Haefeli, CBS News, 14 Oct. 2022 San Joaquin County District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar indicated at a news conference Tuesday that ballistics evidence would be crucial. Dennis Romero, NBC News, 19 Oct. 2022 The cases were linked through ballistics evidence, police said. Christian Martinezstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 18 Oct. 2022 All the victims were shot, and police say ballistics evidence linked the same man to the shootings. Laura Haefeli, CBS News, 14 Oct. 2022 According to AP News, ballistics testing could not determine which officer fired the shot that killed Fanta. Bry'onna Mention, Essence, 27 Sep. 2022 But a firearms analyst who testified on Wednesday said that ballistics testing could not determine whether that gun was the one that fired the bullet that killed Bartek. Cory Shaffer, cleveland, 28 July 2022 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

New Latin ballisticus ballistic + -ics, after New Latin ballistica

First Known Use

1675, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of ballistics was in 1675

Dictionary Entries Near ballistics

Cite this Entry

“Ballistics.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ballistics. Accessed 27 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

ballistics

noun singular or plural

bal·​lis·​tics bə-ˈlis-tiks How to pronounce ballistics (audio)
1
: the science that deals with the motion of objects (as bullets or rockets) that are thrown or driven forward
2
: the flight characteristics of an object (as a bullet or rocket) that is thrown or driven forward

Legal Definition

ballistics

noun plural but singular or plural in construction

bal·​lis·​tics bə-ˈlis-tiks How to pronounce ballistics (audio)
1
a
: the science of the motion of projectiles (as bullets) in flight
b
: the flight characteristics of a projectile (as a bullet)
2
: the study of the processes within a firearm as it is fired

More from Merriam-Webster on ballistics

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
Spell It

Hear a word and type it out. How many can you get right?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ