escape velocity


: the minimum velocity that a moving body (such as a rocket) must have to escape from the gravitational field of a celestial body (such as the earth) and move outward into space

Examples of escape velocity in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This process energizes the hydrogen atom, which can then exceed the planet’s escape velocity and escape to space. Eryn Cangi, The Conversation, 6 May 2024 Even the cosmos is fair game, especially in a tech world known for its moon shots and escape velocities. Sam Dean, Los Angeles Times, 13 Mar. 2024 In fact, the boulder population can be roughly divided in half, with the faster half having achieved escape velocity. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 20 July 2023 Venus is so hot that the molecules of most gases easily reach escape velocity. Kevin Grazier, Discover Magazine, 19 Nov. 2019 The high dropout rate means that everyone is in search of the one thing that will reach escape velocity. WIRED, 2 Oct. 2023 My objective with Blueprint is to demonstrate aging escape velocity, using the best science, trying to do all the appropriate interventions to neutralize my aging process. Fortune Editors, Fortune, 14 July 2023 Then on Thursday, the service hit the viral escape velocity that every new social platform searches for as some of the internet’s biggest names hopped on board. Jay Peters, The Verge, 29 Apr. 2023 Some of the tonnage is due to the fuel needed to accelerate the ship from low Earth orbit to escape velocity, and this may not differ between Mars and closer sites, such as the moon. David Warmflash, Discover Magazine, 8 Sep. 2014

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

Word History

First Known Use

1934, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of escape velocity was in 1934

Dictionary Entries Near escape velocity

Cite this Entry

“Escape velocity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

escape velocity

: the lowest velocity that a moving body (as a rocket) must have to escape from the field of gravity of the earth or of a heavenly body and move outward into space

More from Merriam-Webster on escape velocity

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!