thrust·​er ˈthrə-stər How to pronounce thruster (audio)
variants or less commonly thrustor
: one that thrusts
especially : an engine (such as a jet engine) that develops thrust by expelling a jet of fluid or a stream of particles

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The thrusters are retractable and take about four seconds to deploy. Karl Ebert, Journal Sentinel, 16 Mar. 2023 The thruster fired at 8:25 p.m. ET. Julia Musto, Fox News, 26 Oct. 2022 The Europeans are seeking help from NASA to meet a 2028 launch, including radioisotope heating units, thruster, and a rocket ride to reach the Red Planet. Byscience News Staff,, 9 Mar. 2023 Unlike a propeller thruster, which uses a rapidly rotating blade to move small jets of water at high velocity, Pliant’s undulating fins move large volumes of water at low velocity. IEEE Spectrum, 7 Mar. 2023 Kepler has thruster rockets that could be used to stand in for the third reaction wheel, at least for a few months until the propellant runs out. Corey S Powell, Discover Magazine, 17 May 2013 The second Agena had originally served as a target vehicle for Gemini 8, which was forced to undock and abort its mission after a stuck thruster. Mark Zastrow, Discover Magazine, 28 Apr. 2021 Spacecraft equipped with the thruster could then fly very low orbits, around 124 miles up, for years on end. Bill Andrews, Discover Magazine, 8 Mar. 2018 Astrobotic may decide to fly with some thruster risks or delay Peregrine's launch to accommodate more testing. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 13 Sep. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'thruster.' 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

1597, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of thruster was in 1597

Dictionary Entries Near thruster

Cite this Entry

“Thruster.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2023.

Kids Definition


thrust·​er ˈthrəs-tər How to pronounce thruster (audio)
: one that thrusts
especially : an engine that produces thrust by discharging a jet of fluid or a stream of particles

More from Merriam-Webster on thruster

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