hy·​per·​son·​ic | \ ˌhī-pər-ˈsä-nik \

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 \ adverb

Examples of hypersonic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Putin also mentioned the Kinzhal hypersonic missile that has already been put on duty with the units of Russia's Southern Military District. Vladimir Isachenkov, chicagotribune.com, "Putin boasts Russia's nuclear weapons are decades ahead of foreign rivals," 28 June 2018 Both of those countries are developing hypersonic missiles, officials said. Courtney Mcbride, WSJ, "Trump Outlines Broader Missile-Defense Strategy," 17 Jan. 2019 Russia tested a new hypersonic weapons program on Wednesday, December 26th, designed to sneak under U.S. ballistic missile defenses. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Russia Tests Yet Another Hypersonic Weapon," 27 Dec. 2018 Senior officials at rocket-motor specialist Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc. have said the company stands to benefit from unprecedented interest in hypersonic vehicles. Doug Cameron, WSJ, "Defense Companies Run Space Race," 24 Aug. 2018 Our adversaries are developing hypersonic weapons and maneuvering missiles that threaten the United States’ ability to project power. Henry Obering Iii, Fortune, "I Used to Direct the Missile Defense Agency. America Needs New Weapons," 5 July 2018 But the real advancement, the commission notes, is in hypersonic missiles. Alex Ward, Vox, "China’s military power could match America’s by 2050," 14 Nov. 2018 This hypersonic weapons acceleration is taking place within a high-threat global environment. Kris Osborn, Fox News, "Air Force cites need to defend against enemy's hypersonic weapons," 19 Sep. 2018 Waverider technology could still find its way into a hypersonic weapon, military officials have said. Mike Wall, Space.com, "US Air Force Zooms Ahead on 2 New Hypersonic Weapons Plans," 20 Aug. 2018

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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Last Updated

5 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for hypersonic

The first known use of hypersonic was in 1946

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to express emotion in a dramatic way

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