Main definitions of rocket in US English:

: rocket1rocket2

rocket1

nounPlural rockets

  • 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.

    • ‘Friday night was spent huddled around the fire, launching bottle rockets and roman candles at each other.’
    • ‘The finale began with a rocket that symbolically extinguished the Olympic flame.’
    • ‘Will this bizarre heist sizzle like a bottle rocket or fizzle like a defective firecracker?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The fiesta opens with an explosion of rockets that look to Jake like shrapnel bursts; fiesta time is comparable to wartime, Bill says.’
    • ‘We lit off so many bottle rockets and firecrackers that we had the girls running for cover.’
    • ‘The famed Brooklyn amusement park is a recurring motif in these paintings that feature carousel horses, Ferris wheels, fireworks, rockets and extravagant fantasy architecture.’
    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.
      • ‘Even the pilot's seat is explosive, because it contains a rocket motor to eject the seat and pilot in an emergency.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The main concern was for the still unaccounted for Cockpit Escape Module containing a large rocket motor.’
      • ‘Augmented with an off-the-shelf rocket motor, Paveway II also became the basis for the navy's Skipper II air-to-surface missile.’
      • ‘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 glide and end-game maneuverability are achieved without the added weight, cost and complexity of a rocket motor.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Once it is dropped off, a rocket motor will fire for about 80 seconds, accelerating the vehicle to Mach 3 in a vertical climb.’
      • ‘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 pilot then fires the rocket motor for 80 seconds and pulls into a vertical climb.’
      • ‘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 launching rockets were mainly used to place government spacecraft into Earth orbit or towards the Moon or other planets.’
      • ‘The rocket motor ignites following discharge from the cannon and extends the effective range of the cannon.’
      • ‘The operator signals the initiation of the launch sequence and the small booster rocket is ignited.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Nasa issued a contract in October 1962 that provided for the research and development of a nuclear-powered rocket engine.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 1.2 An elongated rocket-propelled missile or spacecraft.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The convoy was comprised of dozens of vehicles transporting long-range artillery rockets.’
      • ‘The only images were of war, of bombings and rockets.’
      • ‘Each missile contained 44 kg of high explosives and 498 kg of rocket fuel.’
      • ‘The horizon glows red, and they can see rockets being fired.’
      • ‘Helping the scientists with their endeavor is a group of astronauts tooling around in their high-tech rocket ship, led by space-stud Katsuo.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, a group of leftist radicals is on a crime spree of murder and robbery, arming themselves with automatic weapons, explosives, and rockets.’
      • ‘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 payload, perched on the nose cone of the massive rocket, was a one-man exploration vessel, Ranger 3.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The rocket crash results in much wartime symbolism, with locals rallying around an old woman who stoically accepts the demolition of her house.’
      • ‘Another rocket is fired, and the smoke hangs ominously over the square.’
      • ‘Would it not be easy to find numerous youths to fly to the moon in a rocket plane if the opportunity were offered?’
      • ‘When he wrote the novel, there was no such thing as a rocket ship, and no one had ever gone to the moon.’
      • ‘Sujatha, in his preface, reminds us that science fiction need not necessarily be concerned with rockets and space odysseys.’
      • ‘Having stolen an interstellar rocket and propelled himself into orbit, he is now moments away from asphyxiation as his oxygen runs low.’
      • ‘Silver has worked on no less than 50 films, most of them featuring people being shot with rockets and expensive cars blowing up.’
      • ‘At the start of World War II, he entered the Royal navy and served with distinction on mine sweepers, destroyers, and rocket launchers.’
      • ‘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.’
    3. 1.3 Used, especially in similes and comparisons, 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’
      • ‘He played Asian and European composers well enough for his worldwide career to take off like a rocket.’
      • ‘Back in 1964, the son of comedian Jerry Lewis inked a contract with Liberty Records and took off like a bottle rocket.’
      • ‘The word of mouth just spread - it took off like a rocket.’
      • ‘More than that, Bonnie and Clyde took off like a rocket, generating enormous profits and fame for everyone involved.’
      • ‘His rocket to fame was fueled by awe-inspiring talent and brash wit.’
      • ‘He doesn't get up quickly like a rocket but gets up slowly, no matter what the contents are.’

verbrocketing, rocketed, rockets

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

    ‘sales of milk in supermarkets are rocketing’
    • ‘He sponsors the project and watches the costs rocket to over a million above the original budget.’
    • ‘While per capita consumption in the EU is declining consumption in Ireland is rocketing ahead.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The dark clouds of 30 years have parted to reveal rocketing educational levels and unemployment as almost a thing of the past.’
    • ‘House prices are rocketing and there is a particular need for affordable dwellings.’
    • ‘Considering its limited funds in a time of rocketing prices for art, the museum has succeeded well in its aim of broad coverage.’
    • ‘Agents in Santa Clara County say sales are rocketing.’
    • ‘Spain, where housing prices have rocketed up 150 % since 1997, also has analysts concerned.’
    • ‘House prices in Southampton have rocketed by 136 per cent between 1995 and 2003.’
    • ‘Sales rocketed 49 per cent to US $4.4 billion from US $3 billion.’
    • ‘When the Fed raised rates another 75 basis points in early 2000, spreads were rocketing to historic highs.’
    • ‘But three particular cases sent the repair bill rocketing for October 2001 to September 2002.’
    • ‘Insurance premiums could rocket, but public liability insurance is a must for anyone who keeps livestock.’
    • ‘The technology industries began to veer to a crash and unemployment rocketed.’
    • ‘The Canadian dollar had rocketed to 86 cents U.S.’
    • ‘Sales in the UK, however, have rocketed from 156 million in 2001 to 176 million last year.’
    • ‘The company saw its milk sales rocket from 600,000 cartons to 4.2 million bottles weekly.’
    • ‘The hostages are forced to endure bombs being wired over their heads, random shootings, and rocketing temperatures in a school gymnasium without any water.’
    • ‘In 2004, the box office take had rocketed to £74.5m, of which Russian films accounted for 12%.’
    • ‘In the month following the riots, violent crime of all kinds rocketed up 20 percent.’
    shoot up, soar, increase rapidly, rise rapidly, escalate, spiral upwards
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1with adverbial of direction Move or progress very rapidly.
      with object ‘she showed the kind of form that rocketed her to the semifinals last year’
      no object ‘the cab rocketed down a ramp’
      • ‘The 24-year-old has rocketed to stardom with his mixture of classical jazz and funk.’
      • ‘When ‘Carmina Burana’ was premiered in Frankfurt in 1937, Orff's popularity rocketed not only in Germany but throughout Europe as well.’
      • ‘In fact, rocketing to the top of a highest-paid CEO list can really backfire.’
      • ‘As they cross a frozen lake, ten attackers on ice skates come rocketing toward them with clubs.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Hiko suddenly rocketed upward, and Deion looked up, wondering what he was gonna do.’
      • ‘The cable struck the hull somewhere behind his gunport and, suddenly, the SS-9 was rocketing back toward him like a giant black boomerang.’
      • ‘As the ball rockets off his bat toward the lights above, Newman states the main title theme.’
      • ‘He rockets through his material, barely giving his audience time to catch up or savor his latest joke.’
      • ‘Literally rocketing down through orbit to land on the surface of a planet in one seamless move is impressive enough.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In late 2003, the film rocketed to acclaim from self-released obscurity in a matter of months.’
      • ‘Then 50 minutes after takeoff, the spacecraft separated from White Knight and rocketed into the stratosphere.’
      • ‘Dancers popped and rocked downstage; two in-line skaters rocketed back and forth on the ramp, creating a dynamic backdrop.’
      • ‘Under Victor Saville's understanding direction, her career rocketed.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘With tons of directional effects rocketing around the viewer nearly the whole way through, this track utilizes surround sounds to full effect!’
      • ‘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.’
      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’
    • ‘He said helicopter gunships rocketed rebel positions in the jungle where the gunmen fled.’
    • ‘Just last week, gunships rocketed a training camp, killing 15 operatives.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

rocket

/ˈrɑkət//ˈräkət/

Main definitions of rocket in US English:

: rocket1rocket2

rocket2

nounPlural rockets

British
  • 1An edible Mediterranean plant of the cabbage family, sometimes eaten in salads.

    Eruca vesicaria subsp. sativa, family Brassicaceae

    See also arugula
    1. 1.1 Used in names of other fast-growing plants, e.g., sweet rocket.

Origin

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

Pronunciation

rocket

/ˈrɑkət//ˈräkət/