any of various simple or complex tubelike devices containing combustibles that on being ignited liberate gases whose action propels the tube through the air: used for pyrotechnic effect, signaling, carrying a lifeline, hurling explosives at an enemy, putting a space vehicle into orbit, etc.
a space capsule or vehicle put into orbit by such devices.
masc. proper name, M.E. Rycharde, from O.Fr. Richard, from O.H.G. Ricohard, from P.Gmc. *rik- "ruler" + *harthu "hard." One of the most popular names introduced by the Normans.
"garden plant of the cabbage family," 1530, from M.Fr. roquette, from It. rochetta, dim. of ruca "a kind of cabbage," from L. eruca "colewort," perhaps lit. "hairy caterpillar" (the plant has downy stems) and related to ericus "hedgehog."
"projectile," 1611, from It. rocchetto "a rocket," lit. "a bobbin," dim. of rocca "a distaff," so called because of cylindrical shape. The It. word probably is from a Gmc. source (cf. O.H.G. rocko "distaff," O.N. rokkr), from P.Gmc. *rukka-, from PIE base *rug- "to spin." Originally "fireworks rocket," meaning "device propelled by a rocket engine" first recorded 1919; rocket-ship first attested 1927. The verb meaning "to spring like a rocket" is from 1883.