chemical laser

noun

Definition of chemical laser

: a laser that uses a chemical reaction (such as combustion) as an energy source
  • The weapon is the chemical laser, which gets its energy from the combustion of fuels similar to those in rocket engines. Though much of its energy is lost as heat, significant amounts can be extracted by mirrors and resonant chambers, emerging as a concentrated beam of light that in theory can flash across space to zap speeding missiles thousands of miles away.
  • —William J. Broad

Recent Examples of chemical laser from the Web

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

First Known Use of chemical laser

1965

in the meaning defined above

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to hasten

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Test Your Emoji Exceptionalism

  • test-your-emoji-exceptionalism-written-with-a-lot-of-emoji
  • What is this emoji intended to represent: 🤳
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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