[ mis-uh l or, esp. British, -ahyl ]
/ ˈmɪs əl or, esp. British, -aɪl /


an object or weapon for throwing, hurling, or shooting, as a stone, bullet, or arrow.


capable of being thrown, hurled, or shot, as from the hand or a gun.
used or designed for discharging missiles.

Origin of missile

1600–10; < Latin, neuter of missilis, equivalent to miss(us) (past participle of mittere to send, throw) + -ilis -ile
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for missile

British Dictionary definitions for missile

/ (ˈmɪsaɪl) /


any object or weapon that is thrown at a target or shot from an engine, gun, etc
  1. a rocket-propelled weapon that flies either in a fixed trajectory (ballistic missile) or in a trajectory that can be controlled during flight (guided missile)
  2. (as modifier)a missile carrier

Word Origin for missile

C17: from Latin: missilis, from mittere to send
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