thermal barrier

noun Aeronautics, Rocketry.

the high temperatures produced by the friction between a supersonic object and the earth's atmosphere that limit the speed of an airplane or rocket.

Origin of thermal barrier

First recorded in 1950–55
Also called heat barrier. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for thermal barrier

thermal barrier


an obstacle to flight at very high speeds as a result of the heating effect of air frictionAlso called: heat barrier
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