: 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
: a similar device used as an incendiary weapon or as a propelling unit (as for a lifesaving line)
: 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)
: a rocket-propelled bomb, missile, projectile, or vehicle
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
Recent Examples on the Web
Russians are adapting and evolving their tactics using more advanced weapons like Lancet kamikaze drones and remote mining with MLRS rockets while heavily relying on their air superiority in the frontline and occupied areas.—Oleksiy Pshemyskiy, ABC News, 25 Nov. 2023 His workers had acclimated to the occasional rocket flying overhead, but the breaching of the gates was a different story.—Max Kim, Los Angeles Times, 24 Nov. 2023 Contrary to some perceptions, rockets do not work by pushing against anything in space.—Paul M. Sutter, Discover Magazine, 23 Nov. 2023 While large solid rocket motors are employed by big launch vehicles such as NASA's Space Launch System and United Launch Alliance's Vulcan, they are most widely used in military weapon systems like missiles and rockets.—Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 23 Nov. 2023 Then, the focus will likely shift to the southern region of the territory, which is where Hamas’ leaders and remaining rockets are believed to be located, along with the bulk of the Israeli hostages.—Neri Zilber, The Christian Science Monitor, 22 Nov. 2023 If a rocket or drone kills American troops, the Biden administration will face a crisis of its own.—Dominic Green, WSJ, 22 Nov. 2023 The rocket flew normally along the preset flight track, and the satellite entered orbit at 10:54 p.m., KCNA said, citing North Korea’s space agency.—Stella Kim, NBC News, 22 Nov. 2023 SpaceX received clearance to launch its 400-foot Starship rocket after a first attempt in April ended in a fiery explosion.—Elizabeth Robinson, NBC News, 16 Nov. 2023
Shares of Meta have rocketed this year and jumped more than 160% since January.—Antonio Pequeño Iv, Forbes, 30 Nov. 2023 That app rocketed to popularity almost exactly a year ago, demonstrating the huge strides AI has made and making OpenAI the hottest tech startup on the planet.—Patrick Smith, NBC News, 21 Nov. 2023 Despite not being a race car, the road version can still rocket from zero to 62 mph in 3.8 seconds and has a top speed of 199 mph.—Bryan Hood, Robb Report, 7 Nov. 2023 Top speed then rockets to a positively zippy 46 mph.—Howard Walker, Robb Report, 17 Nov. 2023 His first guest, The Rock, helped rocket the series to No. 1 on Spotify charts in the U.S. and elsewhere.—Lacey Rose, The Hollywood Reporter, 17 Nov. 2023 Despite the cap, Russia’s oil and gas tax revenue has rocketed upward, more than doubling in October compared with September.—Richard Vanderford, WSJ, 16 Nov. 2023 But the advent of the CD — a near-perfect digital copy — and then file-sharing meant that an advance copy could be rocketed around the world within minutes.—Jem Aswad, Variety, 27 Oct. 2023 At a recent meeting for hostage families, held in an underground parking garage because Tel Aviv continues to be rocketed, an Israeli government representative tried to calm down an angry crowd.—Jeffrey Gettleman Tamir Kalifa, New York Times, 16 Oct. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rocket.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
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
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."
Italian rocchetta, literally, small distaff, from diminutive of rocca distaff, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German rocko distaff