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

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 Lunar scientists are pretty positive that there is exposed water ice on the surface of the Moon, and Lockheed says those resources could be exploited and split apart to form rocket propellant. Loren Grush, The Verge, "This is Lockheed Martin’s idea for a reusable lander that carries people and cargo to the Moon," 3 Oct. 2018 In 2016, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket exploded on a Florida launch pad while propellant was being loaded into the vehicle. Samantha Masunaga, latimes.com, "SpaceX's controversial rocket fueling procedure appears 'viable,' says NASA safety advisory panel," 17 May 2018 As a result, the expendable descent stage, which would arrive with each new Orion crew (as well as propellant for the ascent engine), could have a minimum size, while the space tug could be used for multiple ferry trips. Anatoly Zak, Popular Mechanics, "NASA’s Return to the Moon Could Include a Reusable Lunar Lander," 23 Oct. 2018 But an anomaly on September 1, 2016 during propellant loading resulted in a Falcon 9 explosion during the run-up to an engine test fire. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "NASA Approves SpaceX "Load-and-Go" Fueling for Astronaut Flights," 10 Aug. 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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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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