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terminal velocity

noun
1.
Physics.
  1. the velocity at which a falling body moves through a medium, as air, when the force of resistance of the medium is equal in magnitude and opposite in direction to the force of gravity.
  2. the maximum velocity of a body falling through a viscous fluid.
2.
Rocketry, Ballistics.
  1. the greatest speed that a rocket, missile, etc., attains after burnout or after leaving the barrel of a gun.
  2. the speed of a missile or projectile on impact with its target.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for terminal velocity
  • The amount of heat and pressure on his arms and body will be no different than at terminal velocity at closer to sea level.
  • To be even more pedantic, that is its' acceleration until it reaches terminal velocity.
  • It falls at terminal velocity the rest of the way for several minutes before impacting the ground.
  • They fall at terminal velocity and are warm enough to melt a little ice.
  • There are other efforts that have not yet achieved the kind of terminal velocity necessary for bubble status.
  • In terminal velocity, the air resistance is equal to the weight.
  • It isn't the terminal velocity that's so impressive, it's how quickly and effortlessly you get there.
  • First, you should rule out terminal velocity of the ball bearing.
  • There is an upward flow that is nearly equal to the terminal velocity of the cylinders.
British Dictionary definitions for terminal velocity

terminal velocity

noun
1.
the constant maximum velocity reached by a body falling under gravity through a fluid, esp the atmosphere
2.
the velocity of a missile or projectile when it reaches its target
3.
the maximum velocity attained by a rocket, missile, or shell flying in a parabolic flight path
4.
the maximum velocity that an aircraft can attain, as determined by its total drag
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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Encyclopedia Article for terminal velocity

steady speed achieved by an object freely falling through a gas or liquid. A typical terminal velocity for a parachutist who delays opening the chute is about 150 miles (240 kilometres) per hour. Raindrops fall at a much lower terminal velocity, and a mist of tiny oil droplets settles at an exceedingly small terminal velocity. An object dropped from rest will increase its speed until it reaches terminal velocity; an object forced to move faster than its terminal velocity will, upon release, slow down to this constant velocity.

Learn more about terminal velocity with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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