a jet engine operated by the injection of fuel into a stream of air compressed by the forward speed of the aircraft.

Origin of ramjet

First recorded in 1940–45; ram1 + jet1
Also called ramjet engine.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ramjet

Historical Examples of ramjet

  • A bunch of Australian bushmen stumbling onto a ramjet and trying to figure out how it works.

    Masters of Space

    Edward Elmer Smith

British Dictionary definitions for ramjet


ramjet engine


  1. a type of jet engine in which fuel is burned in a duct using air compressed by the forward speed of the aircraft
  2. an aircraft powered by such an engine
Also called: athodyd
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

Word Origin and History for ramjet

1942, from ram (v.) + jet (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

ramjet in Science



A cylindrical jet propulsion engine consisting of air intake and combustion chambers into which burning fuel is injected, forcing hot air out of the rear of the engine at high pressures to provide forward thrust. See Note at turbojet.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.