[mis-uhl or, esp. British, -ahyl]
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.

1600–10; < Latin, neuter of missilis, equivalent to miss(us) (past participle of mittere to send, throw) + -ilis -ile

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World English Dictionary
missile (ˈmɪsaɪl)
1.  any object or weapon that is thrown at a target or shot from an engine, gun, etc
2.  a.  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)
 b.  (as modifier): a missile carrier
[C17: from Latin: missilis, from mittere to send]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1611 (adj.) "capable of being thrown," chiefly in phrase missile weapon, from Fr. missile, from L. missile "weapon that can be thrown," from missus, pp. of mittere "to send." The noun meaning "thing thrown or discharged as a weapon" is from 1656. 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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Example sentences
For anti-missile defense the laser is too prone to particulate diffusion to
  make it practical as the primary weapon.
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.
Images for missile
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