hypersonic

adjective
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

There are currently two types of hypersonic propulsion: boost glide and scramjets. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "This New Hypersonic Missile Would Travel Faster Than Mach 5," 18 June 2019 Examples are hypersonic missiles, which combine velocity—travelling at five times the speed of sound—with pinpoint accuracy. The Economist, "The UTC-Raytheon deal highlights the changing nature of war," 14 June 2019 Reports that the Russians, despite having a defense budget less than a tenth the size of ours, are somehow outpacing us in the development of weapons such as chimerical hypersonic missiles go largely unchallenged. Andrew Cockburn, Harper's magazine, "The Military-Industrial Virus," 10 June 2019 Putin went on to announce the existence of the Avangard hypersonic missile system, which can be carried by the Sarmat. David Brennan, Newsweek, "Satan 2: Russia Is About to Test Its New 'Invincible' Nuclear Missile," 14 Mar. 2018 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

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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Statistics for hypersonic

Last Updated

25 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for hypersonic

The first known use of hypersonic was in 1946

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hypersonic

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