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[soo-per-son-ik] /ˌsu pərˈsɒn ɪk/
greater than the speed of sound waves through air.
capable of achieving such speed:
a supersonic plane.
Origin of supersonic
First recorded in 1915-20; super- + sonic
Related forms
supersonically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for supersonic
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It coughed once, sending a beam of supersonic energy into the bodies of both men.

    The Penal Cluster Ivar Jorgensen (AKA Randall Garrett)
  • During the next two days, events moved with supersonic speed for the Cubs.

    Dan Carter Cub Scout Mildred A. Wirt
  • Lee stared at the apparition which swiftly materialized out of the ground haze at the plane's supersonic speed.

    The Brain Alexander Blade
  • Flying at supersonic speed, they reached the area of the lost missile in the South Atlantic soon after lunch.

  • A tiny doll, proportioned like a woman, dashed toward me, shrilling in a supersonic shriek.

    The Door Through Space Marion Zimmer Bradley
  • Instantly he was batted on the nose from above by a paw that moved with supersonic speed.

British Dictionary definitions for supersonic


being, having, or capable of reaching a speed in excess of the speed of sound: supersonic aircraft
Derived Forms
supersonically, adverb
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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Word Origin and History for supersonic

1919, "of or having to do with sound waves beyond the limit of human hearing," from super- + sonic. Attested from 1934 in sense of "exceeding the speed of sound" (especially as a measure of aircraft speed), leaving the original sense to ultrasonic (1923).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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supersonic in Medicine

supersonic su·per·son·ic (sōō'pər-sŏn'ĭk)

  1. Having, caused by, or relating to a speed greater than the speed of sound in a given medium, especially air.

  2. Of or relating to sound waves beyond human audibility.

su'per·son'i·cal·ly adv.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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supersonic in Science
Having a speed greater than that of sound in a designated medium, usually air; having a speed greater than Mach 1. Compare hypersonic, subsonic, transonic.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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