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."

Primary Meanings of rocket

a jet engine containing its own propellant and driven by reaction propulsion
shoot up abruptly, like a rocket
erect European annual often grown as a salad crop to be harvested when young and tender
Full Definitions of rocket

n a jet engine containing its own propellant and driven by reaction propulsion

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

n any vehicle self-propelled by a rocket engine

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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

n propels bright light high in the sky, or used to propel a lifesaving line or harpoon

Type of:
visual signal
a signal that involves visual communication

n sends a firework display high into the sky

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.

v shoot up abruptly, like a rocket

Type of:
arise, come up, go up, lift, move up, rise, uprise
move upward

v propel with a rocket

Type of:
impel, propel
cause to move forward with force

n erect European annual often grown as a salad crop to be harvested when young and tender

Eruca sativa, Eruca vesicaria sativa, arugula, garden rocket, rocket salad, roquette
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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