propellant

adjective
pro·​pel·​lant | \ prə-ˈpe-lənt How to pronounce propellant (audio) \
variants: or less commonly propellent

Definition of propellant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: capable of propelling

propellant

noun
variants: or less commonly propellent

Definition of propellant (Entry 2 of 2)

: something that propels: such as
a : an explosive for propelling projectiles
b : fuel plus oxidizer used by a rocket engine
c : a gas kept under pressure in a bottle or can for expelling the contents when the pressure is released

Examples of propellant in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Luigi T. De Luca, an Italian academic and a leading expert in solid propellant rockets, said in an email. Hiroko Tabuchi, New York Times, "A Cheaper Airbag, and Takata’s Road to a Deadly Crisis," 26 Aug. 2016

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Finally, the extreme heat of a laser could ignite any remaining rocket motor propellant or the explosive warhead. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "U.S. Fighter Jets Could Soon Be Armed With Lasers," 6 May 2019 And recently, Boeing experienced a propellant leak during a test that pushed back development of its Starliner. Loren Grush, The Verge, "NASA will review workplace safety at SpaceX and Boeing because Elon Musk smoked marijuana," 20 Nov. 2018 Compared to the Orion spacecraft’s predecessor, the Apollo, even an untrained eye can spot that Orion’s propellant-carrying trunk is smaller than the service module on the Apollo spacecraft, which carried the world’s first astronauts to the moon. Anatoly Zak, Popular Mechanics, "NASA: Lunar 'Gateway' Is Still Our Best Bet for Putting Boots on the Moon," 1 Apr. 2019 The solid propellant, infused with fuel and oxidizer, can whip up a lot of thrust in a hurry. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "The Rocket Fuel Rivalry Shaping the Future of Spaceflight," 10 Apr. 2018 Once harvested, the water would be heated into steam and ejected out the back as propellant. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "This Steam-Powered Spacecraft Could Travel the Solar System Forever," 15 Jan. 2019 Like other CFCs, 11 can be used as a refrigerant or a propellant in aerosol spray cans. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Sources of banned CFCs found through their advertising," 9 July 2018 According to the listing, the ingredients include a propellant, alcohol, iron oxides, talc, and fumed silica. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "How spray-on hair does (and doesn’t) work," 17 Dec. 2018 The former trade temperamental propellants for the ability to throttle their power output (by controlling the mixture of that fuel and oxidizer). Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Bloodhound SSC: How do you build a car capable of 1,000mph?," 24 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'propellant.' 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 propellant

Adjective

1644, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1654, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for propellant

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Time Traveler for propellant

The first known use of propellant was in 1644

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More Definitions for propellant

propellant

noun

English Language Learners Definition of propellant

technical
: a gas under pressure in a can that is used to spray out the contents when the pressure is released
: a fuel or an explosive substance that is used to make something (such as a rocket) go forward

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More from Merriam-Webster on propellant

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with propellant

Spanish Central: Translation of propellant

Nglish: Translation of propellant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about propellant

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