A rocket is a space vehicle or missile, or the special engine that's meant to propel such a vehicle into the air. You can even get a model rocket that's small enough to shoot off in your back yard.

A rocket or rocket engine uses thrust to propel something toward the sky, whether it's a spacecraft that will orbit the Earth or a bottle rocket that will explode overheard. You can use the word as a verb, too, to mean "move rapidly": "Without a parachute, the skydiver would rocket to the ground." It also means "increase rapidly": "After the election, the price of gas began to rocket upwards."

Definitions of rocket
  1. noun
    a jet engine containing its own propellant and driven by reaction propulsion
    synonyms: rocket engine
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    booster, booster rocket, booster unit, takeoff booster, takeoff rocket
    the first stage of a multistage rocket
    nuclear rocket
    a rocket engine in which a nuclear reactor is used to heat a propellant
    a small rocket engine on a larger rocket or spacecraft that is fired to slow or alter its course
    space rocket
    a rocket powerful enough to travel into outer space
    a small rocket engine that provides the thrust needed to maneuver a spacecraft
    type of:
    jet engine
    a gas turbine produces a stream of hot gas that propels a jet plane by reaction propulsion
  2. noun
    any vehicle self-propelled by a rocket engine
    synonyms: projectile
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    a rocket carrying a warhead of conventional or nuclear explosives; may be ballistic or directed by remote control
    multistage rocket, step rocket
    a rocket having two or more rocket engines (each with its own fuel) that are fired in succession and jettisoned when the fuel is exhausted
    research rocket, test instrument vehicle, test rocket
    a rocket fired for test purposes
    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
    sounding rocket
    a research rocket used to obtain information about the atmosphere at various altitudes
    type of:
    a conveyance that transports people or objects
  3. noun
    propels bright light high in the sky, or used to propel a lifesaving line or harpoon
    synonyms: skyrocket
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    type of:
    visual signal
    a signal that involves visual communication
  4. noun
    sends a firework display high into the sky
    synonyms: skyrocket
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    type of:
    firework, pyrotechnic
    (usually plural) a device with an explosive that burns at a low rate and with colored flames; can be used to illuminate areas or send signals etc.
  5. verb
    shoot up abruptly, like a rocket
    synonyms: skyrocket
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    type of:
    arise, come up, go up, lift, move up, rise, uprise
    move upward
  6. verb
    propel with a rocket
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    type of:
    impel, propel
    cause to move forward with force
  7. noun
    erect European annual often grown as a salad crop to be harvested when young and tender
    synonyms: Eruca sativa, Eruca vesicaria sativa, arugula, garden rocket, rocket salad, roquette
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    type of:
    herb, herbaceous plant
    a plant lacking a permanent woody stem; many are flowering garden plants or potherbs; some having medicinal properties; some are pests
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