mis·​sile | \ ˈmi-səl How to pronounce missile (audio) , chiefly British -ˌsīl How to pronounce missile (audio) \

Definition of missile

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : capable of being thrown or projected to strike a distant object
2 : adapted for throwing or hurling missiles



Definition of missile (Entry 2 of 2)

: an object (such as a weapon) thrown or projected usually so as to strike something at a distance stones, artillery shells, bullets, and rockets are missiles : such as

Examples of missile in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Moscow is reportedly helping Beijing develop an anti-missile air defense system, says Dr. Korolev. Ann Scott Tyson, The Christian Science Monitor, 20 Sep. 2022 The battle over that tiny, treeless island also was a dramatic demonstration of the effectiveness—or ineffectiveness—of the Tor in its anti-missile role. David Axe, Forbes, 15 July 2022 In his nightly address to the nation, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy pleaded Tuesday for more and faster deliveries of Western arms, specifically asking for anti-missile defense systems. John Leicester And Yuras Karmanau, Chicago Tribune, 15 June 2022 In his nightly address to the nation, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy pleaded Tuesday for more and faster deliveries of Western arms, specifically asking for anti-missile defense systems. Yuras Karmanau, BostonGlobe.com, 15 June 2022 Zircon,, described as the world’s fastest non-ballistic missile, can be armed with either a conventional or a nuclear warhead, and is said to be impossible to stop with current anti-missile defense systems. Yuras Karmanau, BostonGlobe.com, 28 May 2022 Ukraine does not have a powerful anti-missile defense. CNN, 24 Mar. 2022 The Ukrainian leader continued to urge the West to provide his country with heavier and faster equipment, such as warplanes and more anti-missile systems. Nelson Oliveira, CBS News, 3 Apr. 2022 In a video posted to Telegram on Saturday night, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russia was building up forces in the east of the country and called on Western countries to provide more anti-missile systems. NBC News, 3 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Overnight, Russian missile attacks targeted the southern areas of Zaporizhzhia and Mykolaiv, damaging residential buildings and other sites, officials said. Adam Schreck, BostonGlobe.com, 27 Sep. 2022 The fuel companies operate without large depots because of missile attacks. Marcus Walker, WSJ, 13 Sep. 2022 Civilians die every day in Russian shelling and missile attacks, but most casualties are young military men who represented Ukraine’s future. Serhiy Morgunov, Washington Post, 10 Sep. 2022 Weeks later, the State Department approved a potential sale of 300 Patriot missiles to Saudi Arabia for roughly $3.05 billion to help the Arab nation defend against Houthi drone and missile attacks. Ronn Blitzer, Fox News, 7 Sep. 2022 There are fears the holiday might bring particularly heavy Russian missile attacks, and tensions are high after a car bomb killed a hard line Russian commentator outside Moscow this past weekend. Taylor Wilson, USA TODAY, 25 Aug. 2022 Kyiv authorities banned mass gatherings in the capital through Thursday for fear of missile attacks around Independence Day, which, like the six-month mark in the war, falls on Wednesday. Paul Byrne And Derek Gatopoulos, Anchorage Daily News, 24 Aug. 2022 While previous years have been marked by celebrations, today is set to be a somber affair as officials warn that Russia may carry out missile attacks against Ukrainian cities. Alexandra Meeks, CNN, 24 Aug. 2022 Mobile apps warn Ukrainians about missile attacks and give updates about the war. New York Times, 9 Aug. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of missile


1610, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1656, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for missile


Latin missilis, from mittere to throw, send

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Time Traveler for missile

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The first known use of missile was in 1610

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Last Updated

1 Oct 2022

Cite this Entry

“Missile.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/missile. Accessed 4 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for missile


mis·​sile | \ ˈmi-səl How to pronounce missile (audio) \

Kids Definition of missile

: an object (as a stone, arrow, bullet, or rocket) that is dropped, thrown, shot, or launched usually so as to strike something at a distance


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