ground speed


Definition of ground speed

: the speed (as of an airplane) with relation to the ground — compare airspeed

Examples of ground speed in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The current speed record was set in 2008 when a Bombardier Global Express jet made the journey at an average ground speed of 511mph. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Around the world in 48 hours? Former astronaut to attempt global speed record," 1 July 2019 While that statistic would suggest that the Dreamliner crashed through the sound barrier (767 mph), that's not actually what happened: The plane reached a ground speed of 801 mph, but wasn't technically moving that fast at altitude. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Virgin Flight Reaches 801 MPH as Furious Jet Stream Propels Plane Faster Than Speed of Sound," 19 Feb. 2019 Slow the mower’s ground speed—or your walking speed—to allow more thorough mulching action. Roy Berendson, Popular Mechanics, "Do I Need To Change My Lawnmower Blades?," 27 Apr. 2018 The airship’s engines churned; its ground speed slowed. Eva Holland, Smithsonian, "Flying to the North Pole in an Airship Was Easy. Returning Wouldn’t Be So Easy," 18 Aug. 2017

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

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First Known Use of ground speed

1917, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for ground speed

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The first known use of ground speed was in 1917

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Statistics for ground speed

Cite this Entry

“Ground speed.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Nov. 2020.

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