One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Relating to speeds of more than five times the speed of sound (Mach 5).
- ‘At such hypersonic speeds, planes could fly around the world in a matter of hours.’
- ‘The multi-year project, called X - 43C, will expand the hypersonic flight envelope for air-breathing engines.’
- ‘He suddenly felt like he was rocketing skyward at hypersonic speed.’
- ‘The two main contenders are hypersonic ramjets or scramjets and nanotube-based space elevators.’
- ‘The M45 propulsion system has three-stage solid fuel rocket motors producing hypersonic speed.’
- ‘NASA today convened a board to determine the cause of Saturday's loss of the first X - 43A unpiloted hypersonic research aircraft.’
- ‘When a particle slams into it at hypersonic speeds, the particle bores its way in and gradually comes to a stop, intact.’
- ‘The US space's experimental hypersonic research aircraft, the X - 43A, could one day revolutionise long-distance travel.’
- ‘Their record on clocking school buses at hypersonic speeds is not noted.’
- ‘Going at hypersonic speed, everything that David passed was a giant blur.’
- ‘A single shooter employing this hypersonic weapon can cover 49 times the area reachable with a conventional cruise weapon.’
- ‘In the case of X - 43, the thrust will propel the vehicle at hypersonic speeds up to Mach 10.’
- ‘They were made with a material that could stand hypersonic speeds.’
- ‘The rifle fires steel spikes at near hypersonic speeds, using a magnetic system to power it.’
- ‘Astronauts and cosmonauts have all reached hypersonic speeds while passing through the atmosphere on their way to or from orbit.’
- ‘To recap, the X - 43A is a prototype hypersonic aircraft, powered by a ‘scramjet’.’
- ‘The X - 43A is the first aircraft to reach hypersonic speeds using an air-breathing engine.’
- ‘He remembered the planning for hypersonic flight, faster than five times the speed of sound, leading up to the X - 15 program.’
- ‘There have also been joint efforts to build a hypersonic aircraft for commercial purposes.’
- ‘Last year's successful Mach 10 hypersonic flight of the X - 43A proved the concept.’
2Relating to sound frequencies above about a thousand million hertz.
- ‘We've heard hypersonic sound.’
1930s (in hypersonic (sense 2)): from hyper- ‘beyond, exceeding’, on the pattern of supersonic and ultrasonic.
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