hy·​per·​son·​ic | \ ˌhī-pər-ˈsä-nik How to pronounce hypersonic (audio) \

Definition of hypersonic

1 : of or relating to speed five or more times that of sound in air — compare sonic
2 : moving, capable of moving, or utilizing air currents that move at hypersonic speed hypersonic wind tunnel

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Other Words from hypersonic

hypersonically \ ˌhī-​pər-​ˈsä-​ni-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce hypersonically (audio) \ adverb

Examples of hypersonic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In addition to modernizing its nuclear arsenal, China is developing maneuverable reentry vehicles and hypersonic glide weapons to evade U.S. missile defenses and topping its ICBMs with multiple independently targeted warheads. Jamie Mcintyre, Washington Examiner, "Trump wants to replace New START with a treaty that includes China," 25 June 2020 Second are hypersonic weapons, including missiles, that can send a warhead at five-times the speed of sound to a target. Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, "China develops weapons to fry US electric grid, eyes high-tech ‘Pearl Harbor’ attack," 18 June 2020 Space researcher Vladimir Lapygin, 79, was given early release last week from a seven-year sentence imposed in 2016 after being convicted of passing secret information about hypersonic aircraft to China, Radio Free Europe reported on its website. Henry Meyer, Bloomberg.com, "Russia Accuses Leading Arctic Scientist of Spying for China," 17 June 2020 If a meteor’s shock waves can be tracked across the ionosphere, for example, how about those of a hypersonic missile? The Economist, "Planetary monitoring A plan to turn the atmosphere into one, enormous sensor," 11 June 2020 In that world, the treaty’s verification measures—the sort that allowed American inspectors to see Russia’s fancy new hypersonic boost-gliding intercontinental ballistic missile warhead up close, for instance—would evaporate. Ankit Panda, The New Republic, "The U.S. Can’t “Win” an Arms Race With Russia and China," 27 May 2020 That includes collaboration with the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command on technical issues of hypersonic flight. Paul Gattis | Pgattis@al.com, al, "UAH set school record in research expenditures in 2019," 8 May 2020 The new tunnel’s hypersonic design could be used on missiles, jet planes, rockets and other aircraft. USA TODAY, "Jornada del Muerto, Livestrong rebrand, Mach 8 tunnel: News from around our 50 states," 12 Feb. 2020 Because of the enormous amount of energy involved, if the satellites touch each other, a hypersonic shock wave will go through them both, reducing them to debris which is then spread out to their orbits. Alaa Elassar, CNN, "Two dead satellites might collide above the US today," 29 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hypersonic.' 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 hypersonic

1946, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for hypersonic

International Scientific Vocabulary

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Time Traveler for hypersonic

Time Traveler

The first known use of hypersonic was in 1946

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Statistics for hypersonic

Last Updated

6 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hypersonic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hypersonic. Accessed 14 Jul. 2020.

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