escape velocity

noun

: 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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The ecstasy and g-force thrill of achieving escape velocity from drab beginnings. Hillary Kelly, The New Republic, 4 Jan. 2023 Electron will deliver the spacecraft into a 165 km orbit above Earth, where the rocket's high-energy Photon upper stage will perform a number of burns to raise the spacecraft's orbit and reach escape velocity. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 19 Aug. 2022 Like how rockets on Earth must do, Nyan Cat would have to reach the escape velocity of the Moon. Kyle Hill, Discover Magazine, 5 Nov. 2013 Electron will deliver the spacecraft into a 165 km orbit above Earth, where the rocket's high-energy Photon upper stage will perform a number of burns to raise the spacecraft's orbit and reach escape velocity. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 19 Aug. 2022 Your Tok’s ability to achieve escape velocity is directly proportional to your distance from your true self. WIRED, 16 Nov. 2022 Electron will deliver the spacecraft into a 165 km orbit above Earth, where the rocket's high-energy Photon upper stage will perform a number of burns to raise the spacecraft's orbit and reach escape velocity. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 19 Aug. 2022 Electron will deliver the spacecraft into a 165 km orbit above Earth, where the rocket's high-energy Photon upper stage will perform a number of burns to raise the spacecraft's orbit and reach escape velocity. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 19 Aug. 2022 Electron will deliver the spacecraft into a 165 km orbit above Earth, where the rocket's high-energy Photon upper stage will perform a number of burns to raise the spacecraft's orbit and reach escape velocity. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 19 Aug. 2022 See More

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

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.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/escape%20velocity. Accessed 27 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition

escape velocity

noun
: 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!


The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?

PLAY