inertial guidance


: guidance (as of an aircraft or spacecraft) by means of self-contained automatically controlling devices that respond to inertial forces

called also inertial navigation

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web For example, focused beams of sound could confuse the inertial guidance unit used to control a drone. IEEE Spectrum, 10 Nov. 2022 The rocket’s inertial guidance system would be aligned using a Loran installation on the shore after which point its own self-aligning stable platform keeps the azimuth and vertical directions stable. Amy Shira Teitel, Discover Magazine, 11 Aug. 2017 The computer and its inertial guidance platform were marvels of precision, able to navigate 250,000 miles (about 400,000 kilometers) to the Moon with an error of only a few thousand feet. Frank O’brien, Ars Technica, 30 Jan. 2020 The missile, a Mark 1, Mod 1, has a manual inertial guidance system, a mobile launcher with a one-sling power velocity on takeoff, and considerable pucker power on impact. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, 14 Jan. 2019 More generally, the use of gyros has blossomed into the field of inertial guidance. Frank Wilczek, WSJ, 13 Sep. 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'inertial guidance.' 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

circa 1948, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of inertial guidance was circa 1948

Dictionary Entries Near inertial guidance

Cite this Entry

“Inertial guidance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Apr. 2023.

Kids Definition

inertial guidance

: guidance (as of an aircraft) by automatic devices that respond to changes in speed or direction
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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