9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[mis-uh l or, esp. British, -ahyl] /ˈmɪs əl or, esp. British, -aɪl/
an object or weapon for throwing, hurling, or shooting, as a stone, bullet, or arrow.
capable of being thrown, hurled, or shot, as from the hand or a gun.
used or designed for discharging missiles.
Origin of missile
1600-10; < Latin, neuter of missilis, equivalent to miss(us) (past participle of mittere to send, throw) + -ilis -ile Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for missile
  • For anti-missile defense the laser is too prone to particulate diffusion to make it practical as the primary weapon.
  • We have gone on piling weapon upon weapon, missile upon missile, new levels of destructiveness upon old ones.
  • Full-bore federal-subsidised research on missile defense.
  • If testing a nuke doesn't get their attention, try firing an intercontinental ballistic missile.
  • We live in an area that profits from cruise missile sales from property taxes and income taxes.
  • It had also worked on fitting a bomb on a missile warhead.
  • Once a nuclear-tipped missile is launched, no one has the means to recall it.
  • Here, more than a century ago, was a prototype for the guided missile.
  • His bargaining position is strong: missile defence is unpopular with voters.
  • But they're not good for killing insurgents, because they're too small to carry a missile.
British Dictionary definitions for missile


any object or weapon that is thrown at a target or shot from an engine, gun, etc
  1. a rocket-propelled weapon that flies either in a fixed trajectory (ballistic missile) or in a trajectory that can be controlled during flight (guided missile)
  2. (as modifier): a missile carrier
Word Origin
C17: from Latin: missilis, from mittere to send
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 missile

"thing thrown or discharged as a weapon," is 1650s, from missile (adj.), 1610s, "capable of being thrown," chiefly in phrase missile weapon, from French missile and directly from Latin missilis "that may be thrown or hurled" (also, in plural, as a noun, "weapons that can be thrown, darts, javelins"), from missus "a throwing, hurling," past participle of mittere "to send" (see mission). Sense of "self-propelled rocket or bomb" is first recorded 1738; the modern remote guidance projectile so called from 1945.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for missile


Related Terms

dumb bomb

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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