Main definitions of rocket in English

: rocket1rocket2

rocket1

noun

  • 1A cylindrical projectile that can be propelled to a great height or distance by the combustion of its contents, used typically as a firework or signal.

    • ‘He spent his summer vacation collaborating with scientists on a project involving launching small rockets into storm clouds above a desolate region to trigger lightning bolts.’
    • ‘Friday night was spent huddled around the fire, launching bottle rockets and roman candles at each other.’
    • ‘The famed Brooklyn amusement park is a recurring motif in these paintings that feature carousel horses, Ferris wheels, fireworks, rockets and extravagant fantasy architecture.’
    • ‘The finale began with a rocket that symbolically extinguished the Olympic flame.’
    • ‘The fiesta opens with an explosion of rockets that look to Jake like shrapnel bursts; fiesta time is comparable to wartime, Bill says.’
    • ‘Will this bizarre heist sizzle like a bottle rocket or fizzle like a defective firecracker?’
    • ‘We lit off so many bottle rockets and firecrackers that we had the girls running for cover.’
    missile, projectile
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 An engine that operates by the combustion of its contents, providing thrust as in a jet engine but without depending on the intake of air for combustion.
      • ‘Nasa issued a contract in October 1962 that provided for the research and development of a nuclear-powered rocket engine.’
      • ‘Even the pilot's seat is explosive, because it contains a rocket motor to eject the seat and pilot in an emergency.’
      • ‘They got off to an early start by test-firing a powerful rocket engine for almost three minutes - long enough to boost 1,500 pounds into orbit.’
      • ‘Augmented with an off-the-shelf rocket motor, Paveway II also became the basis for the navy's Skipper II air-to-surface missile.’
      • ‘The spaceship then drops into gliding flight and fires its rocket motor while climbing steeply for more than a minute, reaching a speed of 2,500 mph.’
      • ‘The rocket ignites, the boot pinwheels, the flare sputters and then quickly dies.’
      • ‘The launching rockets were mainly used to place government spacecraft into Earth orbit or towards the Moon or other planets.’
      • ‘A missile catapulted from the Columbia's missile tube and fired its rocket motor.’
      • ‘By going on from the German V - 1 and V - 2 experiments, it was feasible to believe rockets big enough to lift a spacecraft into orbit now might be constructed.’
      • ‘While many of these technologies may seem like science fiction, so too were the jet engine, the airplane, and the rocket engine only 100 years ago.’
      • ‘The process of washing perchlorate out of rockets has been a source of drinking and irrigation water contamination demonstrated in and around the Colorado River and the Sacramento area.’
      • ‘The rocket motor ignites following discharge from the cannon and extends the effective range of the cannon.’
      • ‘Once it is dropped off, a rocket motor will fire for about 80 seconds, accelerating the vehicle to Mach 3 in a vertical climb.’
      • ‘Milliseconds later powerful rams lifted the pod six inches, then its rocket motor ignited with a roar, boosting me at a crushing 11g on a slightly forward trajectory.’
      • ‘At this hour, Mission Control has fired up the rocket engine on a supply ship attached to Mir for the second of what will be three burns.’
      • ‘The glide and end-game maneuverability are achieved without the added weight, cost and complexity of a rocket motor.’
      • ‘The pilot then fires the rocket motor for 80 seconds and pulls into a vertical climb.’
      • ‘However, the propulsion device of a rocket can be called either a rocket motor or a rocket engine, and usage here seems not to have settled on one or the other.’
      • ‘The operator signals the initiation of the launch sequence and the small booster rocket is ignited.’
      • ‘The main concern was for the still unaccounted for Cockpit Escape Module containing a large rocket motor.’
    2. 1.2 An elongated rocket-propelled missile or spacecraft.
      as modifier ‘a rocket launcher’
      • ‘After some scenes of preparing for the next launch, we see the lift-off as well, sticking with the shuttle well past the separation of the solid rocket boosters.’
      • ‘Another rocket is fired, and the smoke hangs ominously over the square.’
      • ‘The payload, perched on the nose cone of the massive rocket, was a one-man exploration vessel, Ranger 3.’
      • ‘Having stolen an interstellar rocket and propelled himself into orbit, he is now moments away from asphyxiation as his oxygen runs low.’
      • ‘Sujatha, in his preface, reminds us that science fiction need not necessarily be concerned with rockets and space odysseys.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, a group of leftist radicals is on a crime spree of murder and robbery, arming themselves with automatic weapons, explosives, and rockets.’
      • ‘Many are heavily armed, while others must've arrived late the day that they were handing out rocket launchers.’
      • ‘In the background, a rocket ship shoots upward from the horizon.’
      • ‘Would it not be easy to find numerous youths to fly to the moon in a rocket plane if the opportunity were offered?’
      • ‘Helping the scientists with their endeavor is a group of astronauts tooling around in their high-tech rocket ship, led by space-stud Katsuo.’
      • ‘At the start of World War II, he entered the Royal navy and served with distinction on mine sweepers, destroyers, and rocket launchers.’
      • ‘Perchlorate is the substance that has served since the 1940s as an oxidizer in solid rocket fuel for more effective propulsion for space shuttles and missiles.’
      • ‘The horizon glows red, and they can see rockets being fired.’
      • ‘During their now almost-forgotten recent war, the weavers created a body of work which showed the full panoply of modern warfare - guns, grenades, tanks, helicopters, jet planes, rockets and bombs.’
      • ‘When he wrote the novel, there was no such thing as a rocket ship, and no one had ever gone to the moon.’
      • ‘The only images were of war, of bombings and rockets.’
      • ‘The convoy was comprised of dozens of vehicles transporting long-range artillery rockets.’
      • ‘Each missile contained 44 kg of high explosives and 498 kg of rocket fuel.’
      • ‘Silver has worked on no less than 50 films, most of them featuring people being shot with rockets and expensive cars blowing up.’
      • ‘The rocket crash results in much wartime symbolism, with locals rallying around an old woman who stoically accepts the demolition of her house.’
    3. 1.3 Used to refer to a person or thing that moves very fast or to an action that is done with great force.
      ‘she shot out of her chair like a rocket’
      • ‘His rocket to fame was fueled by awe-inspiring talent and brash wit.’
      • ‘Back in 1964, the son of comedian Jerry Lewis inked a contract with Liberty Records and took off like a bottle rocket.’
      • ‘He played Asian and European composers well enough for his worldwide career to take off like a rocket.’
      • ‘More than that, Bonnie and Clyde took off like a rocket, generating enormous profits and fame for everyone involved.’
      • ‘The word of mouth just spread - it took off like a rocket.’
      • ‘He doesn't get up quickly like a rocket but gets up slowly, no matter what the contents are.’
  • 2British informal in singular A severe reprimand.

    ‘he got a rocket from the Director’

verb

  • 1no object (of an amount, price, etc.) increase very rapidly and suddenly.

    ‘sales of milk in supermarkets are rocketing’
    ‘rocketing prices’
    • ‘In 2004, the box office take had rocketed to £74.5m, of which Russian films accounted for 12%.’
    • ‘Agents in Santa Clara County say sales are rocketing.’
    • ‘In the month following the riots, violent crime of all kinds rocketed up 20 percent.’
    • ‘Sales rocketed 49 per cent to US $4.4 billion from US $3 billion.’
    • ‘The technology industries began to veer to a crash and unemployment rocketed.’
    • ‘The company saw its milk sales rocket from 600,000 cartons to 4.2 million bottles weekly.’
    • ‘When the Fed raised rates another 75 basis points in early 2000, spreads were rocketing to historic highs.’
    • ‘The dark clouds of 30 years have parted to reveal rocketing educational levels and unemployment as almost a thing of the past.’
    • ‘But three particular cases sent the repair bill rocketing for October 2001 to September 2002.’
    • ‘Sales in the UK, however, have rocketed from 156 million in 2001 to 176 million last year.’
    • ‘Considering its limited funds in a time of rocketing prices for art, the museum has succeeded well in its aim of broad coverage.’
    • ‘Insurance premiums could rocket, but public liability insurance is a must for anyone who keeps livestock.’
    • ‘With a healthy balance sheet and rocketing attendance figures, the theatre company is beginning a new £1 / 2 million production of Romeo and Juliet and a record breaking programme of one act works.’
    • ‘While per capita consumption in the EU is declining consumption in Ireland is rocketing ahead.’
    • ‘House prices in Southampton have rocketed by 136 per cent between 1995 and 2003.’
    • ‘He sponsors the project and watches the costs rocket to over a million above the original budget.’
    • ‘The Canadian dollar had rocketed to 86 cents U.S.’
    • ‘The hostages are forced to endure bombs being wired over their heads, random shootings, and rocketing temperatures in a school gymnasium without any water.’
    • ‘House prices are rocketing and there is a particular need for affordable dwellings.’
    • ‘Spain, where housing prices have rocketed up 150 % since 1997, also has analysts concerned.’
    shoot up, soar, increase rapidly, rise rapidly, escalate, spiral upwards
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1with adverbial of direction Move very rapidly.
      no object ‘he rocketed to national stardom’
      with object ‘she showed the kind of form that rocketed her to the semi-finals last year’
      • ‘Dancers popped and rocked downstage; two in-line skaters rocketed back and forth on the ramp, creating a dynamic backdrop.’
      • ‘In fact, rocketing to the top of a highest-paid CEO list can really backfire.’
      • ‘Since the film isn't likely to break any box office records, this will not be her opportunity to rocket into the elite group of A-list actresses.’
      • ‘When ‘Carmina Burana’ was premiered in Frankfurt in 1937, Orff's popularity rocketed not only in Germany but throughout Europe as well.’
      • ‘Literally rocketing down through orbit to land on the surface of a planet in one seamless move is impressive enough.’
      • ‘Then 50 minutes after takeoff, the spacecraft separated from White Knight and rocketed into the stratosphere.’
      • ‘It's too early to tell whether she'll be the inheritor of her father's mantle, but if this film is an indication, her career may rocket like his did.’
      • ‘Once the initial confusion clears, the show rockets along.’
      • ‘He rockets through his material, barely giving his audience time to catch up or savor his latest joke.’
      • ‘Holden evolved from a slightly pathetic character to one with a very American sort of attitude, which explains the way the book rocketed to success.’
      • ‘Under Victor Saville's understanding direction, her career rocketed.’
      • ‘As they cross a frozen lake, ten attackers on ice skates come rocketing toward them with clubs.’
      • ‘Just as they prepare to rocket ahead in the rankings, the coach is shocked to discover his boys have failed to live up to their contracts.’
      • ‘With tons of directional effects rocketing around the viewer nearly the whole way through, this track utilizes surround sounds to full effect!’
      • ‘Hiko suddenly rocketed upward, and Deion looked up, wondering what he was gonna do.’
      • ‘As the ball rockets off his bat toward the lights above, Newman states the main title theme.’
      • ‘In late 2003, the film rocketed to acclaim from self-released obscurity in a matter of months.’
      • ‘The 24-year-old has rocketed to stardom with his mixture of classical jazz and funk.’
      • ‘The cable struck the hull somewhere behind his gunport and, suddenly, the SS-9 was rocketing back toward him like a giant black boomerang.’
      • ‘Critics have him pigeonholed as ‘Flash Gordon,’ that postmodern enfant terrible who rocketed to stardom on the supercharged fireworks of the State of Illinois Building in 1985.’
      speed, zoom, shoot, roar, whizz, career, go hell for leather
      View synonyms
  • 2with object Attack with rocket-propelled missiles.

    ‘the city was rocketed and bombed from the air’
    • ‘Just last week, gunships rocketed a training camp, killing 15 operatives.’
    • ‘He said helicopter gunships rocketed rebel positions in the jungle where the gunmen fled.’

Phrases

  • rise like a rocket (and fall like a stick)

    • Rise suddenly and dramatically (and subsequently fall in a similar manner)

      ‘the firm worries that, after rising like a rocket, exports could drop like the stick’
      • ‘Writing after the 1981 riots Socialist Worker's Chris Harman described how ‘riots rise like a rocket, but fall like a stick’.’
      • ‘All I have to do is read a newspaper or turn on the TV and my rage rises like a rocket and keeps on climbing.’
      • ‘Watch out for Shabana's ranking to rise like a rocket when he gets at least three more tournaments under his belt.’
      • ‘The incorruptible Tom Paine once said of an opportunistic politician: ‘He rose like a rocket, but he falls like a stick’.’
      • ‘When the share price was rising like a rocket, the match was treated like manna from heaven.’
      • ‘Miles' stock rose like a rocket once pro teams put him through individual workouts; the versatile 6'10’ forward went No.4 in the draft.’

Origin

Early 17th century: from French roquette, from Italian rocchetto, diminutive of rocca ‘distaff (for spinning)’, with reference to its cylindrical shape.

Pronunciation

rocket

/ˈrɒkɪt/

Main definitions of rocket in English

: rocket1rocket2

rocket2

noun

mass nounBritish
  • 1An edible Mediterranean plant of the cabbage family, whose leaves are eaten in salads.

    1. 1.1 Used in names of other fast-growing plants of the cabbage family, e.g. London rocket, sweet rocket.

Origin

Late 15th century: from French roquette, from Italian ruchetta, diminutive of ruca, from Latin eruca ‘downy-stemmed plant’.

Pronunciation

rocket

/ˈrɒkɪt/