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)

Example Sentences

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 example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inelastic collision.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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 30 Nov. 2022.

More from Merriam-Webster on inelastic collision

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