hy·​per·​son·​ic ˌhī-pər-ˈsä-nik How to pronounce hypersonic (audio)
: of or relating to speed five or more times that of sound in air compare sonic
: moving, capable of moving, or utilizing air currents that move at hypersonic speed
hypersonic wind tunnel
hypersonically adverb

Examples of hypersonic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web By making a gun that can shoot projectiles that fly faster than hypersonic missiles fly, a railgun could possibly be a tool that can shoot down such weapons. Kelsey D. Atherton, Popular Science, 1 Nov. 2023 Those hypersonic missiles can reach the United States of America today. Mabinty Quarshie, Washington Examiner, 23 Oct. 2023 The vaunted China model—the mix of liberalization and state control that generated the country’s hypersonic growth—has entered its death throes. Michael Schuman, The Atlantic, 7 Sep. 2023 The hypersonic tubes which will be installed on the Zumwalt will each old three Common Hypersonic Glide Bodies (C-HGB), which are being developed jointly between the Navy and the U.S. Army, according to the U.S. Naval Institute. Warren Kulo | Wkulo@al.com, al, 30 Aug. 2023 The team then tested a prototype glider in the University of Tokyo’s hypersonic wind tunnel, subjecting the plane to speeds as high as Mach 7 and temperatures of almost 450°F—conditions similar to those a paper plane might face when reentering Earth’s atmosphere. Sarah Wells, Popular Mechanics, 9 Aug. 2023 From a more powerful intercontinental ballistic missile to hypersonic ones, North Korea has been displaying new weapons alongside its nuclear bombs and submarines. Dasl Yoon, WSJ, 7 Aug. 2023 Venus Aerospace’s hypersonic Stargazer plane, for instance, will reportedly be able to fly at Mach 9 (nine times the speed of sound) or roughly 6,905 mph to get you from New York to Tokyo in one hour. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 15 May 2023 One of the motivations for building this satellite network is the development of faster-moving hypersonic missiles, which China and the US have both tested over the past couple of years. Ramin Skibba, WIRED, 14 Aug. 2023 See More

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

Word History


International Scientific Vocabulary

First Known Use

1946, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of hypersonic was in 1946

Dictionary Entries Near hypersonic

Cite this Entry

“Hypersonic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hypersonic. Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

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!