thrust·​er | \ ˈthrə-stər How to pronounce thruster (audio) \
variants: or less commonly thrustor

Definition of thruster

: 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

Examples of thruster in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The lander will essentially be on autopilot, and a computer will be in charge of firing the various thrusters and steering the lander safely down. Hari Kumar,, "India launches Chandrayaan-2 moon mission on second try," 22 July 2019 The vehicle has eight auxiliary thrusters on the service module as backup in case the main engine fails. Chabeli Herrera,, "On Apollo, using the bathroom was ‘messy.’ America’s next moonshot will be radically different," 21 July 2019 The worst-case scenario is that there is some undiscovered but fundamental design problem in SuperDraco thrusters. Eric Berger, Wired, "What’s Known About the SpaceX Crew Dragon Accident," 23 Apr. 2019 When the InSight lander touched down on the Red Planet on November 26, 2018, its thrusters blew the rock about 3 feet -- making it a rolling stone in the most literal sense. David Williams, CNN, "NASA has named a Mars rock after The Rolling Stones," 23 Aug. 2019 That fuel and those thrusters add to a mission’s weight, and therefore its launch costs. The Economist, "No one has yet been killed by re-entering space junk," 10 Aug. 2019 Once near the moon, Chandrayaan-2 will fire its thrusters to enter a circular lunar orbit about 62 miles above its surface. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, "India's historic moon mission launches toward lunar south pole," 22 July 2019 If all goes well during a mission, these tiny thrusters are never really meant to be used. Loren Grush, The Verge, "SpaceX finally reveals cause of April spacecraft explosion," 15 July 2019 Mission controllers will then signal the spacecraft to fire its thrusters and chase down its quarry for closer examination. Jonathan O'callaghan, Scientific American, "European Comet Interceptor Could Visit an Interstellar Object," 24 June 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of thruster

1597, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about thruster

Statistics for thruster

Last Updated

14 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for thruster

The first known use of thruster was in 1597

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on thruster

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with thruster

Nglish: Translation of thruster for Spanish Speakers

Comments on thruster

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


friendly or mild

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!