inelastic collision


: a collision in which part of the kinetic energy of the colliding particles changes into another form of energy (such as heat or radiation)

Examples of inelastic collision in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web That's twice the recoil velocity for the inelastic collision. WIRED, 11 Oct. 2022 After the inelastic collision, the spacecraft just totally sticks into the asteroid. WIRED, 11 Oct. 2022

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

Word History

First Known Use

1937, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of inelastic collision was in 1937

Dictionary Entries Near inelastic collision

Cite this Entry

“Inelastic collision.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jun. 2024.

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