[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
Customs inspectors may have simply missed a smuggled bomb or batch of missiles.
There was interest in the development of ballistic and guidance missiles.
Imagine a factory of missiles that would systematically affirm, it produces
  only knives.
One of its missiles crashed into a large weather satellite.
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