Definition of delta-v in US English:


(also delta-vee)


  • Acceleration.

    ‘four hundred knots of delta-v’
    • ‘From a technical standpoint, a mission to Phobos requires minimal delta-v, because of its small mass and the ability to use aerobraking in the Martian atmosphere.’
    • ‘Below acceleration durations of perhaps 50 to 100 milliseconds, the acceleration tolerance versus time curve tends to follow lines of constant velocity change, or delta-v.’
    • ‘Their main characteristics are warhead energy, acceleration, and total delta-v.’
    • ‘Further, they don't have the gravity-well problems which Mars and other planets have, and travel between asteroids will always be expensive in either time or delta-vee.’
    • ‘The delta-v to achieve geostationary orbit from low Earth orbit is 3.6 km/s.’


1960s: from delta (as a mathematical symbol denoting variation) + v for velocity.