noun (1)
rock·​et | \ ˈrä-kət , rä-ˈket\

Definition of rocket

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: any of several plants of the mustard family: such as
a : arugula


noun (2), often attributive
rock·​et | \ ˈrä-kət \

Definition of rocket (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : a firework consisting of a case partly filled with a combustible composition fastened to a guiding stick and propelled through the air by the rearward discharge of the gases liberated by combustion
b : a similar device used as an incendiary weapon or as a propelling unit (as for a lifesaving line)
2 : a jet engine that operates on the same principle as the firework rocket, consists essentially of a combustion chamber and an exhaust nozzle, carries either liquid or solid propellants which provide the fuel and oxygen needed for combustion and thus make the engine independent of the oxygen of the air, and is used especially for the propulsion of a missile (such as a bomb or shell) or a vehicle (such as an airplane)
3 : a rocket-propelled bomb, missile, projectile, or vehicle


rocketed; rocketing; rockets

Definition of rocket (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

: to convey or propel by means of or as if by a rocket

intransitive verb

1 : to rise up swiftly, spectacularly, and with force rocketed to the top of the list
2 : to travel rapidly in or as if in a rocket

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Examples of rocket in a Sentence


Sales rocketed from 1,000 units last week to 5,000 units this week. The train rocketed through the tunnel. The spacecraft rocketed into outer space. Her novel rocketed to the top of the best-seller list. Their album rocketed up the charts. His role in the movie rocketed him to fame.
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First Known Use of rocket

Noun (1)

1530, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1837, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for rocket

Noun (1)

Middle French roquette, from Old Italian rochetta, diminutive of ruca arugula, from Latin eruca

Noun (2)

Italian rocchetta, literally, small distaff, from diminutive of rocca distaff, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German rocko distaff

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Time Traveler for rocket

The first known use of rocket was in 1530

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More Definitions for rocket



English Language Learners Definition of rocket

: to increase quickly and suddenly
: to move or rise quickly


rock·​et | \ ˈrä-kət \

Kids Definition of rocket

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a firework that is driven through the air by the gases produced by a burning substance
2 : a jet engine that is driven by gases produced by a burning substance
3 : a bomb, missile, or vehicle that is driven by gases produced by a burning substance


rocketed; rocketing

Kids Definition of rocket (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to rise swiftly Prices have rocketed.
2 : to travel rapidly in or as if in a rocket … Dixon came rocketing out of the bathroom.— Carl Hiaasen, Hoot

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More from Merriam-Webster on rocket

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rocket

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rocket

Spanish Central: Translation of rocket

Nglish: Translation of rocket for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rocket for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about rocket

Comments on rocket

What made you want to look up rocket? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a servile follower or underling

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