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

Examples of ramjet in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Development of Kub’s then-advanced guidance and revolutionary booster-less solid-fuel ramjet engines took nine years to complete. Sébastien Roblin, Popular Mechanics, 30 Aug. 2023 The problem was solved by including a solid-fuel rocket booster inside the engine, which boosts the missile to supersonic speed before being ejected, giving the ramjet the supersonic airflow needed to function. Sébastien Roblin, Popular Mechanics, 24 July 2023 The other method is to develop a cruise missile with an air-breathing ramjet motor that can sustain hypersonic speeds while within the atmosphere. Sébastien Roblin, Popular Mechanics, 8 June 2023 It will be powered by a supersonic combustion ramjet (scramjet), a propulsion technology that requires constant supersonic airflow to operate efficiently. Michael Verdon, Robb Report, 12 June 2023 Aviation company Hermeus successfully demonstrated mode transition between turbojet and ramjet engines for the Air Force’s Quarterhorse hypersonic aircraft, a major hypersonic flight milestone. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, 25 Jan. 2023 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

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 22 Jul. 2024.

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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