sub·​or·​bit·​al | \ ˌsəb-ˈȯr-bə-tᵊl How to pronounce suborbital (audio) \

Definition of suborbital

1 : situated beneath the eye or the orbit of the eye
2 : being or involving less than one orbit (as of the earth or moon) also : intended for suborbital flight

Examples of suborbital in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The launch followed a pair of high-profile trips to suborbital space last year by billionaire entrepreneurs Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos. NBC News, 8 Apr. 2022 Now Jeff Bezos may fly down in his cowboy hat from suborbital space with the world’s biggest checkbook? Jason Gay, WSJ, 7 Mar. 2022 Last year, SpaceX sent an all-private crew of astronauts to orbit and both Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic safely launched crews of private astronauts on suborbital flights. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, 2 May 2022 For now, suborbital flights as a means of getting from point A to point B are a ways off. Paul Sillers, CNN, 4 Apr. 2022 The 10-minute suborbital flight took six passengers, including Blue Origin engineer Gary Lai, to an altitude of 106 km (see webcast). Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 1 Apr. 2022 In 2021, Elon Musk’s SpaceX took four passengers on a three-day orbital trip around Earth and on Tuesday, Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin LLC plans to launch a six-member crew on a suborbital flight. Patty Nieberg,, 28 Mar. 2022 These are the two pieces expected to attempt the first suborbital test flight for Starship. Richard Tribou,, 10 Feb. 2022 New Shepard, the suborbital space tourism vehicle that took Bezos to space shortly after Branson's flight in July, is fully autonomous. Kristin Fisher And Jackie Wattles, CNN, 19 Oct. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'suborbital.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of suborbital

1803, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of suborbital was in 1803

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Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Suborbital.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for suborbital


sub·​or·​bit·​al | \ ˌsəb-ˈȯr-bət-ᵊl How to pronounce suborbital (audio) \

Medical Definition of suborbital

: situated or occurring beneath the eye or the orbit of the eye suborbital fat


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