Definition of scramjet in US English:



  • A ramjet in which combustion takes place in a stream of gas moving at supersonic speed.

    • ‘Like the comparatively slower ramjet counterpart, the scramjet has a simple mechanical design with no moving parts.’
    • ‘Unlike conventional rocket engines, which must carry oxidizer on board, ramjets and scramjets take in air from the atmosphere and compress it enough to burn.’
    • ‘Here scramjets beat the speed of sound using the Pegasus rocket, which later separates from the vehicle.’
    • ‘The task of igniting a scramjet, with air going through the engine at supersonic speed, has been likened to lighting a match in a hurricane.’
    • ‘The advantages of the technology are clear: the scramjet contains relatively few moving parts compared to a conventional turbine jet engine.’


1960s: from s(upersonic) + c(ombustion) + ramjet.