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 The driver's side air bag inflator may explode due to propellant degradation occurring after long-term exposure to high absolute humidity, high temperatures, and high temperature cycling. Detroit Free Press, 20 Mar. 2021 The driver's side air bag inflator may explode due to propellant degradation occurring after long-term exposure to high absolute humidity, high temperatures, and high temperature cycling. Detroit Free Press, 20 Mar. 2021 The driver's side air bag inflator may explode due to propellant degradation occurring after long-term exposure to high absolute humidity, high temperatures, and high temperature cycling. Detroit Free Press, 20 Mar. 2021 The driver's side air bag inflator may explode due to propellant degradation occurring after long-term exposure to high absolute humidity, high temperatures, and high temperature cycling. Detroit Free Press, 20 Mar. 2021 The driver's side air bag inflator may explode due to propellant degradation occurring after long-term exposure to high absolute humidity, high temperatures, and high temperature cycling. Detroit Free Press, 20 Mar. 2021 The driver's side air bag inflator may explode due to propellant degradation occurring after long-term exposure to high absolute humidity, high temperatures, and high temperature cycling. Detroit Free Press, 20 Mar. 2021 The driver's side air bag inflator may explode due to propellant degradation occurring after long-term exposure to high absolute humidity, high temperatures, and high temperature cycling. Detroit Free Press, 20 Mar. 2021 The driver's side air bag inflator may explode due to propellant degradation occurring after long-term exposure to high absolute humidity, high temperatures, and high temperature cycling. USA TODAY, 18 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The new prototype included enhanced avionics and propellant architecture as well as a new Raptor engine design and configuration. Richard Tribou, orlandosentinel.com, 5 May 2021 By venting propellant gases out the rear, the 75mm had almost no recoil and no need for a weighty breech block, which meant it could be carried by a soldier—or, in this case, even an Italian motor scooter. Cory Graff, Popular Mechanics, 30 Nov. 2020 To produce rockets, Hamas chemists and engineers mix propellant from fertilizer, oxidizer and other ingredients in makeshift factories. Fox News, 20 May 2021 Liquid oxygen generated for rocket propellant is particularly difficult to store on the Martian surface. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, 28 Mar. 2021 These would set up a power system and put in operation units for converting Martian carbon dioxide and water ice into methane and oxygen rocket propellant, which would be stored in tanks. Robert Zubrin, Scientific American, 25 Mar. 2021 Otherwise, bringing enough propellant—which is three quarters oxygen—to get home just isn’t feasible. Charlie Wood, Popular Science, 1 Mar. 2021 It’s also about rocket propellant, of which oxygen is usually a major component. Sarah Scoles, Wired, 18 Feb. 2021 Both objects resemble Composite-Overwrapped Pressure Vessels, which are tanks that hold hydrogen at about 6,000 pounds per square inch to pressurize the propellant used in the rocket. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 Apr. 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of propellant

Adjective

1644, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1654, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for propellant

Adjective

borrowed from Latin prōpellent-, prōpellens, present participle of prōpellere "to push or thrust forward, compel to go onward" — more at propel

Noun

in part noun derivative of propellant entry 1, in part from propel + -ant entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about propellant

Time Traveler for propellant

Time Traveler

The first known use of propellant was in 1644

See more words from the same year

Statistics for propellant

Last Updated

5 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Propellant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/propellant. Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!