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 SpaceX's Crew Dragon performed a flawless test back in March, but a month later the capsule exploded during a thruster test. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "This may be a transcendent year for SpaceX," 2 Jan. 2020 The spacecraft will ride into orbit atop one of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rockets then break off and fire up its own thrusters. Jackie Wattles, CNN, "Watch what SpaceX's first-ever astronaut launch will look like," 31 Dec. 2019 The end result was a rapid-fire sequence of unplanned thruster firings that used up propellant needed for a space station rendezvous. William Harwood, CBS News, "Boeing Starliner descends to picture-perfect New Mexico landing after shortened mission," 22 Dec. 2019 The parachute was released, thrusters were turned off, and Schiaparelli crashed. Daniel Clery, Science | AAAS, "European Mars rover in a ‘race against time’ to fix parachutes," 26 Nov. 2019 But the Starhopper test helped prove two critical elements of Starship hardware: the engine and the maneuvering thrusters. Time, "SpaceX's Starhopper Flight Test Is a Big Step Forward for Elon Musk's Moon Dreams," 28 Aug. 2019 Moreover, both SpaceX and Boeing have had accidents just before, during, or after hot-fire tests of the thrusters to be used during a launch abort emergency. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "With Gerstenmaier gone, decision to fly NASA astronauts may be more contentious," 6 Aug. 2019 SpaceX ignited a set of the capsule’s thrusters that are used largely to maneuver the spacecraft in space with no problem. Chabeli Herrera,, "Months after an explosion, SpaceX successfully test fires its astronaut capsule engines," 14 Nov. 2019 After tests and checkout, the satellites will be boosted into their operational positions using on-board ion thrusters. William Harwood, CBS News, "SpaceX launches another 60 Starlink internet satellites," 11 Nov. 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

Time Traveler for thruster

Time Traveler

The first known use of thruster was in 1597

See more words from the same year

Statistics for thruster

Last Updated

21 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Thruster.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 24 January 2020.

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).


a feeling of well-being or elation

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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!