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terminal velocity

  1. the velocity at which a falling body moves through a medium, as air, when the force of resistance of the medium is equal in magnitude and opposite in direction to the force of gravity.
  2. the maximum velocity of a body falling through a viscous fluid.
Rocketry, Ballistics.
  1. the greatest speed that a rocket, missile, etc., attains after burnout or after leaving the barrel of a gun.
  2. the speed of a missile or projectile on impact with its target. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for terminal velocity
Historical Examples
  • These were to demonstrate that the ship would dive to terminal velocity.

    Test Pilot David Goodger (
  • But the terminal velocity of an airplane is a lot more than that.

    Test Pilot David Goodger (
  • Then I would do the grand dive of ten thousand feet to terminal velocity and pull out to nine g.

    Test Pilot David Goodger (
  • Ball and closely-prisoned man plummeted downward; slowing abruptly, with a horrible deceleration, to terminal velocity.

    Triplanetary Edward Elmer Smith
British Dictionary definitions for terminal velocity

terminal velocity

the constant maximum velocity reached by a body falling under gravity through a fluid, esp the atmosphere
the velocity of a missile or projectile when it reaches its target
the maximum velocity attained by a rocket, missile, or shell flying in a parabolic flight path
the maximum velocity that an aircraft can attain, as determined by its total drag
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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