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[buh-lis-tik] /bəˈlɪs tɪk/
of or relating to ballistics.
having its motion determined or describable by the laws of exterior ballistics.
go ballistic, Informal. to become overwrought or irrational:
went ballistic over the idea of a tax hike.
Origin of ballistic
1765-75; ballist(a) + -ic
Related forms
ballistically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for ballistic
  • First it appears that you are going ballistic over a mere typo.
  • Intercontinental ballistic missiles depend on rocketry.
  • But the ballistic roll is a bit uncontrolled, so it is not useful for everyday locomotion.
  • The tough ballistic bottom helps protect it when something rubs it the wrong way.
  • If testing a nuke doesn't get their attention, try firing an intercontinental ballistic missile.
  • It has ballistic missiles, may have chemical and biological weapons, and has the world's fourth-largest army.
  • It's engineered for comfort, convenience and efficiency, and the military-grade ballistic nylon will probably outlast your laptop.
  • In the last few weeks the stock market has gone ballistic.
  • Another might be improvements in body armor, which have helped distribute ballistic injuries away from vital areas.
  • We cannot walk by a dog without him going ballistic.
British Dictionary definitions for ballistic


of or relating to ballistics
denoting or relating to the flight of projectiles after power has been cut off, moving under their own momentum and the external forces of gravity and air resistance
(of a measurement or measuring instrument) depending on a brief impulse or current that causes a movement related to the quantity to be measured: a ballistic pendulum
(informal) go ballistic, to become enraged or frenziedly violent
(of materials) strong enough to resist damage by projectile weapons: ballistic nylon
Derived Forms
ballistically, adverb
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
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Word Origin and History for ballistic

1775, "pertaining to thrown objects," ultimately from Greek ballein "to throw" (see ballistics). Of rockets or missiles (ones that are guided while under propulsion, but fall freely), from 1949. Ballistic missile first attested 1954; they attain extreme heights, hence figurative expression go ballistic (1981) "become irrationally angry."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with ballistic


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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