: a cylindrical or funnel-shaped device towed as a target by an airplane
: a small parachute for stabilizing or decelerating something (such as an astronaut's capsule) or for pulling a larger parachute out of stowage
: a funnel-shaped device which is attached to the end of a long flexible hose suspended from a tanker airplane in flight and into which the probe of another airplane is fitted so as to receive fuel from the tanker

Examples of drogue in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web First, the capsule will deploy a small drogue chute to keep itself stable. WIRED, 22 Sep. 2023 If a drogue parachute, used like a brake to slow the capsule down, and later a 24-foot main chute deploys, the capsule and asteroid sample will make a soft landing in the sand and scrub inside the military training range of Dugway Proving Ground on the morning of Sept. 24. Jeff Parrott, The Salt Lake Tribune, 21 July 2023 Mads Stenfatt For the drogue parachute that will deploy from the booster rocket, my first prototype was based on a design called Supersonic X, which is a parachute that looks somewhat like a flying onion and is very easy to make. IEEE Spectrum, 28 Nov. 2021 The ride down was a free fall for the passengers—subjecting them to a maximum gravitational force of 5.5 g’s—before three small drogue parachutes opened, followed by three main parachutes, slowly lowering the capsule toward the dusty Texas scrubland. Jeffrey Kluger, Time, 20 July 2021 Then the Dragon will deploy its drogue parachutes before the four main chutes open and guide it to a soft landing in the water. Washington Post, 2 May 2021 When the spacecraft reached about 400 mph (645 km/h), Crew Dragon deployed two drogue parachutes to further slow and stabilize the craft before setting loose its four main parachutes. Caitlyn Buongiorno, Discover Magazine, 3 Aug. 2020 Three small drogue parachuted popped out, orienting the spacecraft— heat shield down — for deployment of the main parachutes at 11,000 feet. San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 Dec. 2022 Next up were the drogue and main onboard parachutes, that latter of which deployed when the capsule was 5,300 feet above the Pacific Ocean, slowing its speed to a mere 20 miles an hour. Nadia Drake, Scientific American, 11 Dec. 2022 See More

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

Word History


probably alteration of drag entry 1

First Known Use

1875, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of drogue was in 1875

Dictionary Entries Near drogue

Cite this Entry

“Drogue.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/drogue. Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a parachute for slowing down or stabilizing something (as an astronaut's capsule) or for pulling out a larger parachute
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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