A missile is an object that can be projected toward a target. Examples include a spitball shot through a straw, a poison-tipped arrow sent via bow, or a self-propelled heat-seeking rocket, designed to take out targets at long range.

When you learn about the Cuban Missile Crisis in history, the missiles in question were guided rockets loaded with nuclear warheads, supplied to the Cubans by the Soviet Union. A missile defense strategy is one where you send up defensive missile to blow up your enemy's offensive ones before they can reach you.

Definitions of missile
  1. noun
    a weapon that is forcibly thrown or projected at a target but is not self-propelled
    synonyms: projectile
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    a projectile with a straight thin shaft and an arrowhead on one end and stabilizing vanes on the other; intended to be shot from a bow
    boomerang, throw stick, throwing stick
    a curved piece of wood; when properly thrown will return to thrower
    bullet, slug
    a projectile that is fired from a gun
    cannon ball, cannonball, round shot
    a solid projectile that in former times was fired from a cannon
    a small narrow pointed missile that is thrown or shot
    a missile equipped with a device that is attracted toward some kind of emission (heat or light or sound or radio waves)
    pellet, shot
    a solid missile discharged from a firearm
    a projectile made by chewing a piece of paper and shaping it into a sphere
    a decorated dart that is implanted in the neck or shoulders of the bull during a bull fight
    BB, BB shot
    a small pellet fired from an air rifle or BB gun
    bird shot, buckshot, duck shot
    small lead shot for shotgun shells
    broad arrow
    an arrow with a wide barbed head
    butt shaft
    a blunt arrow without a barb; an arrow used for target practice
    dumdum, dumdum bullet
    a soft-nosed small-arms bullet that expands when it hits a target and causes a gaping wound
    full metal jacket
    a lead bullet that is covered with a jacket of a harder metal (usually copper)
    grape, grapeshot
    a cluster of small projectiles fired together from a cannon to produce a hail of shot
    kiley, kylie
    an Australian boomerang; one side flat and the other convex
    ball, musket ball
    a solid projectile that is shot by a musket
    an arrow that is shot from a crossbow; has a head with four edges
    rifle ball
    a bullet designed to be fired from a rifle; no longer made spherical in shape
    rubber bullet
    a bullet made of hard rubber; designed for use in crowd control
    type of:
    arm, weapon, weapon system
    any instrument or instrumentality used in fighting or hunting
  2. noun
    a rocket carrying a warhead of conventional or nuclear explosives; may be ballistic or directed by remote control
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    air-to-air missile
    a missile designed to be launched from one airplane at another
    air-to-ground missile, air-to-surface missile
    a missile designed to be launched from an airplane at a target on the ground
    ballistic missile
    a missile that is guided in the first part of its flight but falls freely as it approaches target
    guided missile
    a rocket-propelled missile whose path can be controlled during flight either by radio signals or by internal homing devices
    heat-seeking missile
    a missile with a guidance system that directs it toward targets emitting infrared radiation (as the emissions of a jet engine)
    air-to-air missile with infrared homing device
    ABM, antiballistic missile
    a defensive missile designed to shoot down incoming intercontinental ballistic missiles
    brilliant pebble
    a code name for a small computerized heat-seeking missile that was supposed to intercept and destroy enemy missiles
    V-1, buzz bomb, doodlebug, flying bomb, robot bomb
    a small jet-propelled winged missile that carries a bomb
    a guided missile developed by the French government for use against ships
    ICBM, intercontinental ballistic missile
    a ballistic missile that is capable of traveling from one continent to another
    space probe
    a rocket-propelled guided missile that can escape the earth's atmosphere; makes observations of the solar system that cannot be made by terrestrial observation
    a portable low altitude surface-to-air missile system using infrared guidance and an impact fuse; fired from the shoulder
    SAM, surface-to-air missile
    a guided missile fired from land or shipboard against an airborne target
    type of:
    projectile, rocket
    any vehicle self-propelled by a rocket engine
    arm, weapon, weapon system
    any instrument or instrumentality used in fighting or hunting
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