rocket

noun (1)
rock·​et | \ ˈrä-kət How to pronounce rocket (audio) , rä-ˈket \

Definition of rocket

 (Entry 1 of 3)

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

rocket

noun (2), often attributive
rock·​et | \ ˈrä-kət How to pronounce rocket (audio) \

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

rocket

verb
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

Examples of rocket in a Sentence

Verb 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. See More

First Known Use of rocket

Noun (1)

1530, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1837, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for rocket

Noun (1)

borrowed from Middle French roquete, borrowed from Italian (15th-century) ruchetta, rochetta, from ruca "arugula" (going back to Latin ērūca "arugula, caterpillar," of uncertain origin) + -etta, diminutive suffix, going back to Latin -itta

Note: The sense "caterpillar" of Latin ērūca has been taken as the original one, with the plant so called from the resemblance of its hairy stems to a caterpillar. If this is the case, ērūca could be a derivative of *ēr "hedgehog" (see urchin); the suffix may be the same as in festūca "stalk, straw," lactūca "lettuce," and verrūca "wart."

Noun (2)

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

Learn More About rocket

Dictionary Entries Near rocket

rockery

rocket

rocket bomb

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for rocket

Cite this Entry

“Rocket.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rocket. Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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

More Definitions for rocket

rocket

noun
rock·​et | \ ˈrä-kət How to pronounce rocket (audio) \

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

rocket

verb
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

More from Merriam-Webster on rocket

Nglish: Translation of rocket for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rocket for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about rocket

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
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!