terminal velocity

See synonyms for terminal velocity on Thesaurus.com
  1. Physics.

    • 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.

    • the maximum velocity of a body falling through a viscous fluid.

  2. Rocketry, Ballistics.

    • the greatest speed that a rocket, missile, etc., attains after burnout or after leaving the barrel of a gun.

    • the speed of a missile or projectile on impact with its target.

Words Nearby terminal velocity

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use terminal velocity in a sentence

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

    Triplanetary | Edward Elmer Smith
  • But the terminal velocity of an airplane is a lot more than that.

    Test Pilot | David Goodger (goodger@python.org)
  • These were to demonstrate that the ship would dive to terminal velocity.

    Test Pilot | David Goodger (goodger@python.org)
  • I went out to do the terminal-velocity dive with the nine-g pull-out.

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

    Test Pilot | David Goodger (goodger@python.org)

British Dictionary definitions for terminal velocity

terminal velocity

  1. the constant maximum velocity reached by a body falling under gravity through a fluid, esp the atmosphere

  2. the velocity of a missile or projectile when it reaches its target

  1. the maximum velocity attained by a rocket, missile, or shell flying in a parabolic flight path

  2. 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