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

Examples of ballistics in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Police later matched one of those guns to the ballistics gathered at a shooting that occurred at a Democratic official’s home earlier that day. Cami Mondeaux, Washington Examiner, 21 Jan. 2023 While no rifle has been recovered, the ballistics may still offer critical evidence. Nouran Salahieh, CNN, 8 Dec. 2022 Among the developments ballistics revealed, the 448-day break between the second and third victims and the rapidly closing gaps between victims thereafter: 34 days, then 19, then just six days as the death toll continued to mount. Darrell Smith, Anchorage Daily News, 5 Oct. 2022 About a week later, prosecutors charged him with murder in the Pimlico shooting, citing ballistics testing. CBS News, 14 Jan. 2023 About a week later, prosecutors charged Davis in the killing of Jones, citing ballistics testing. Minyvonne Burke, NBC News, 14 Jan. 2023 An Oregon man who killed his commanding officer in the Army in 1976 and was freed on parole in 1988 is now charged in a cold case double murder that left two teens dead in 1974 -- thanks to modernized ballistics testing, authorities said Friday. Michael Ruiz, Fox News, 5 Nov. 2022 Investigators reportedly were able to connect Richardson to all three incidents by using DNA and ballistics testing. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, 2 Oct. 2022 France has deployed an on-the-ground forensic team with expertise in DNA and ballistics, and Lithuanian experts are scouring territory in eastern Ukraine. Loveday Morris, Washington Post, 28 May 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ballistics.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 18 Apr. 2024.

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

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