What does missile mean?

Definitions for missile
ˈmɪs əl; esp. Brit. -aɪlmis·sile

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word missile.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. missilenoun

    a rocket carrying a warhead of conventional or nuclear explosives; may be ballistic or directed by remote control

  2. projectile, missilenoun

    a weapon that is forcibly thrown or projected at a targets but is not self-propelled


  1. Missilenoun

    A rocket-propelled device designed to fly through the air and deliver a warhead of explosive materials to a target.


  1. missilenoun

    An object intended to be launched into the air at a target.

  2. missilenoun

    A self-propelled projectile whose trajectory can be adjusted after having been launched.

  3. Etymology: From missilis, neuter missile, in plural missilia, from mittere.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Missileadjective

    Thrown by the hand; striking at distance.

    Etymology: missilis, Lat..

    We bend the bow, or wing the missile dart. Alexander Pope.


  1. Missile

    In military terminology, a missile is a guided airborne ranged weapon capable of self-propelled flight usually by a jet engine or rocket motor. Missiles are thus also called guided missiles or guided rockets (when a previously unguided rocket is made guided). Missiles have five system components: targeting, guidance system, flight system, engine and warhead. Missiles come in types adapted for different purposes: surface-to-surface and air-to-surface missiles (ballistic, cruise, anti-ship, anti-submarine, anti-tank, etc.), surface-to-air missiles (and anti-ballistic), air-to-air missiles, and anti-satellite weapons. Airborne explosive devices without propulsion are referred to as shells if fired by an artillery piece and bombs if dropped by an aircraft. Unguided jet- or rocket-propelled weapons are usually described as rocket artillery. Historically, the word missile referred to any projectile that is thrown, shot or propelled towards a target; this usage is still recognized today.


  1. missile

    Missile is a weapon that is self-propelled and guided towards its target. It usually refers to a long-range weapon designed for delivering and detonating explosives or other payloads, and can be launched from the ground, air, or sea. It's often used in military, defense, and space contexts. The term can broadly cover a vast array of armaments, from small, portable shoulder-fired weapons to large intercontinental ballistic missiles carrying nuclear warheads.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Missileadjective

    capable of being thrown; adapted for hurling or to be projected from the hand, or from any instrument or rngine, so as to strike an object at a distance

  2. Missilenoun

    a weapon thrown or projected or intended to be projcted, as a lance, an arrow, or a bullet

  3. Etymology: [L. missils, fr. mittere, missum, to cause to go, to send, to throw; cf. Lith. mesti to throw: cf. F. missile. Cf. Admit, Dismiss, Mass the religious service, Message, Mission.]


  1. Missile

    In a modern military, a missile is a self-propelled guided weapon system, as opposed to a unguided self-propelled munition, referred to as just a rocket . Missiles have four system components: targeting and/or guidance, flight system, engine, and warhead. Missiles come in types adapted for different purposes: surface-to-surface and air-to-surface missiles, surface-to-air missiles, air-to-air missiles, and anti-satellite missiles. All known existing missiles are designed to be propelled during powered flight by chemical reactions inside a rocket engine, jet engine, or other type of engine. Non-self-propelled airborne explosive devices are generally referred to as shells and usually have a shorter range than missiles. An ordinary English-language usage predating guided weapons is simply any thrown object, such as items thrown at players by rowdy spectators at a sporting event.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Missile

    mis′il, adj. that may be thrown from the hand or from any instrument.—n. a weapon thrown by the hand. [L. missilismittĕre, missum, to throw.]

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. missile

    Capable of being thrown; adapted for hurling, or to be projected from the hand, or from any instrument or engine; as, to wing the missile dart.

  2. missile

    A weapon thrown or intended to be thrown, for doing execution; as, a lance, an arrow, or a bullet.

Editors Contribution

  1. missilenoun

    Military intelligence megahertz management information system of units of measurement forming names of appliances or instruments. 1.) An object that is forcibly propelled at a target, either by hand or from a mechanical weapon. 2.) Missiles collectively.

    My invisible missiles are authorized to do exactly what they are supposed to do in every situation.

    Etymology: Force

    Submitted by Tehorah_Elyon on March 31, 2024  

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British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'missile' in Nouns Frequency: #1921

Anagrams for missile »

  1. similes

  2. smilies

How to pronounce missile?

How to say missile in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of missile in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of missile in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of missile in a Sentence

  1. Michael Madden:

    When that thing went off and entered into a lower earth orbit, he got credit for that, the nuclear and missile guys under Kim Jong Un are getting their jobs based on merit.

  2. European Council:

    Mr. Ambassador of the Russian Federation, let's be honest, the Kremlin is using food supplies as a stealth missile against developing countries, russia is solely responsible for this food crisis.

  3. Markus Schiller:

    Perhaps they will display a design model of a HGV, or launch a KN-23 on top of a bigger missile and have it do some maneuvering at reentry while claiming to have launched a HGV, this way, they can save their limited resources, and play the same game they had over the past years.

  4. Ronald Reagan:

    The vote on the Peacekeeper is also a vote on Geneva. Rejecting the Peacekeeper will knock the legs out from under the negotiating table. (On importance of the MX missile)

  5. David Schmerler:

    They only have a finite number of these transporter erector launchers (TELs), there is no evidence that they can manufacture them, and they don't want to burn through their trucks (during missile tests).

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for missile

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"missile." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 13 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/missile>.

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