The adjective ballistic describes the flight of an object through space. It usually applies to projectiles like bullets or rockets that are fired from weapons. If you’re in the path of a ballistic missile, get out of the way!
A ballistic missile is guided only when it’s first launched. After that its flight is subject to the law of gravity. The word comes from a Roman weapon called a ballista, which chucked rocks into the air, whose name comes from the Greek for "throw." If someone has “gone ballistic,” they're crazy with anger. When you go ballistic, you’re just like an unmanned missile: you fly into a fit of rage and lose control over your feelings or actions.