- a reaction engine that produces a thrust due to an exhaust consisting entirely of material, as oxidizer, fuel, and inert matter, that has been carried with the engine in the vehicle it propels, none of the propellant being derived from the medium through which the vehicle moves.
Origin of rocket engine
First recorded in 1930–35
Also called rocket, rocket motor.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- a reaction engine in which a fuel and oxidizer are burnt in a combustion chamber, the products of combustion expanding through a nozzle and producing thrustAlso called: rocket motor
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
- An engine used to produce a jet of hot gases to propel a rocket. The jet is produced by combustion of a fuel with other chemicals stored in the rocket. Since they do not rely on the oxygen in the atmosphere for combustion, rocket engines can operate in space. Compare turbojet.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.