Rocket

Rocket
Rocket Rock"et, n. [It. rocchetta, fr. rocca a distaff, of German origin. Named from the resemblance in shape to a distaff. See {Rock} a distaff.] 1. An artificial firework consisting of a cylindrical case of paper or metal filled with a composition of combustible ingredients, as niter, charcoal, and sulphur, and fastened to a guiding stick. The rocket is projected through the air by the force arising from the expansion of the gases liberated by combustion of the composition. Rockets are used as projectiles for various purposes, for signals, and also for pyrotechnic display. [1913 Webster]

2. A blunt lance head used in the joust. [1913 Webster]

3. any flying device propelled by the reactive force of hot gases expelled in the direction opposite its motion. The fuel used to generate the expelled gases in rockets may be solid or liquid; rockets propelled by liquid fuels typically have a combustible fuel (such as hydrogen or kerosene) which is combined inside the rocket engine with an oxidizer, such as liquid oxygen. Single liquid fuels (called monopropellants) are also known. Since rocket engines do not depend on a surrounding fluid medium to generate their thrust, as do airplanes with propellers or jet engines, they may be used for propulsion in the vacuum of space. [PJC]

{Congreve rocket}, a powerful form of rocket for use in war, invented by Sir William Congreve. It may be used either in the field or for bombardment; in the former case, it is armed with shells or case shot; in the latter, with a combustible material inclosed in a metallic case, which is inextinguishable when kindled, and scatters its fire on every side. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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