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escape velocity

noun, Physics, Rocketry.
the minimum speed that an object at a given distance from a gravitating body must have so that it will continue to move away from the body instead of orbiting about it.
Origin of escape velocity
First recorded in 1950-55 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for escape velocity
Historical Examples
  • He was, of course, traveling at escape velocity or better, and you do not orbit at escape velocity.

    What Need of Man? Harold Calin
  • And it's still men that will have to do it, escape velocity or no.

    What Need of Man? Harold Calin
  • The planet didn't seem to be getting any closer at all, and it ought to; they were approaching it at better than escape velocity.

    Space Viking Henry Beam Piper
  • He ran off tangential to orbit at escape velocity on a pattern that would probably run in a straight path to infinity.

    What Need of Man? Harold Calin
  • The blast we're saving to push to escape velocity is about three kilotons.

    Rip Foster in Ride the Gray Planet

    Harold Leland Goodwin
British Dictionary definitions for escape velocity

escape velocity

the minimum velocity that a body must have in order to escape from the gravitational field of the earth or other celestial body
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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escape velocity in Science
escape velocity
The velocity needed for a celestial body to overcome the gravitational pull of another, larger body and not fall back to that body's surface. Escape velocity is determined by the mass of the larger body and by the distance of the smaller body from the larger one's center. Depending on its initial trajectory, a smaller body traveling at the escape velocity will either enter a periodic orbit around the larger body or recede from the surface of the larger body indefinitely. The escape velocity at the Earth's surface is about 11.2 kilometers per second (25,000 miles per hour); the escape velocity on the Moon's surface is 2.4 kilometers per second (5,300 miles per hour). The escape velocity within the event horizon of a black hole is higher than the speed of light; since nothing can exceed the speed of light, nothing—even light—can escape from within the event horizon of a black hole.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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escape velocity in Culture

escape velocity definition

The speed an object must reach to escape the pull of gravitation exerted by another object.

Note: To overcome the gravitation of the Earth and place an artificial satellite in orbit, a rocket must reach a speed of about 25,000 miles per hour, or about seven miles per second.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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