ram·​jet ˈram-ˌjet How to pronounce ramjet (audio)
: a jet engine that consists essentially of a hollow tube without mechanical components and depends on the aircraft's speed of flight to compress the air which is supplied to a burner from which hot gases are discharged rearward

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web There, Hermeus demonstrated the Chimera’s ability to transition between engines by guiding supersonic air around the turbojet and into the ramjet. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, 25 Jan. 2023 Unlike the Kinzhal, which catches a ride on a conventional missile, Russia’s Zircon uses a supersonic combustion ramjet engine—or scramjet—to reach speeds up to Mach 9. Louis Mazzante, Popular Mechanics, 9 Jan. 2023 The engines on most commercial jets have turbines to push air inside, but a ramjet is basically a tapered tube. Joseph Calamia, Discover Magazine, 27 May 2010 Unlike conventional artillery, the new shell uses a ramjet engine to fly farther and faster. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 12 Aug. 2022 Multiple companies are working on engines that combine a jet and ramjet, or a jet and a rocket. Manasee Wagh, Popular Mechanics, 15 Apr. 2022 Enlarge / Simple ramjet operation, with Mach numbers of flow shown. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 6 Jan. 2022 At high-speed, the engine works like a ramjet, ramming increased amounts of air through the engine chamber to create much, much more thrust. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 13 Sep. 2021 Such systems use a standard jet engine for launch and landing and to build enough speed in flight to feed air into a second turbine—known as a ramjet or scramjet—which produces more power, but requires high-speed air flow in order to ignite. J. George Gorant, Robb Report, 19 Aug. 2021 See More

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

1942, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ramjet was in 1942

Dictionary Entries Near ramjet

Cite this Entry

“Ramjet.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ramjet. Accessed 8 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


ram·​jet ˌram-ˌjet How to pronounce ramjet (audio)
: a jet engine that depends on the speed of flight for the compression of the air it takes in rather than using a mechanical compressor

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