bal·​lis·​tics | \ bə-ˈli-stiks How to pronounce ballistics (audio) \

Definition of ballistics

1a : the science of the motion of projectiles in flight
b : the flight characteristics of a projectile
2a : the study of the processes within a firearm as it is fired
b : the firing characteristics of a firearm or cartridge

Examples of ballistics in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Day 2 of testimony included ballistics evidence of .22 caliber shell casings found in Kramer's apartment matching shells found at a Hamersville, Ohio. Chris Mayhew, The Enquirer, 28 Aug. 2021 By Tuesday, Brueggeman had undergone multiple surgeries to his injured arm and at least one rib was fractured by bullets that struck his ballistics vest, the affidavit said. Tess Williams, Anchorage Daily News, 25 Aug. 2021 Also, several Missouri police agencies plan to stop providing ballistics evidence to a national database used to solve gun crimes. Arkansas Online, 19 Aug. 2021 Also earlier, Erica Gilbert, an Indiana State Police ballistics expert, said a bullet fragment collected as evidence matched the Glock handgun used in the murders. Meredith Colias-pete,, 22 June 2021 The complex trial, held at the courthouse in Dedham, Mass., had lasted seven weeks and involved 167 witnesses, with confusing ballistics reports and testimony in Spanish and Italian. Bruce Watson, WSJ, 9 July 2021 Two ballistics experts testified for the defense in Mike’s trial. oregonlive, 6 July 2021 Prosecutors say ballistics tied that gun to the bullet that killed Nemelka. Danielle Wallace, Fox News, 8 July 2021 Investigators said Bradford was driving the vehicle from which the shots were fired, and ballistics matched a gun in possession. Carol Robinson |, al, 16 June 2021

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.

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First Known Use of ballistics

1675, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for ballistics

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

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Time Traveler for ballistics

Time Traveler

The first known use of ballistics was in 1675

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Dictionary Entries Near ballistics

ballistic pendulum


ballistic transport

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Statistics for ballistics

Last Updated

10 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ballistics.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for ballistics



English Language Learners Definition of ballistics

: the science that studies the movement of objects (such as bullets or rockets) that are shot or forced to move forward through the air


noun plural but singular or plural in construction
bal·​lis·​tics | \ bə-ˈlis-tiks How to pronounce ballistics (audio) \

Legal Definition of ballistics

1a : 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

Nglish: Translation of ballistics for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about ballistics


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