Missile - Etymology and Usage

Etymology and Usage

The word missile comes from the Latin verb mittere, meaning "to send".

In military usage, munitions projected towards a target are broadly categorised as follows:

  • A powered, guided munition that travels through the air or space is known as a missile (or guided missile.)
  • A powered, unguided munition is known as a rocket.
  • Unpowered munitions not fired from a gun are called bombs whether guided or not; unpowered, guided munitions are known as guided bombs or "smart bombs".
  • Munitions that are fired from a gun are known as projectiles whether guided or not. If explosive they are known more specifically as shells or mortar bombs.
  • Powered munitions that travel through water are called torpedoes (an older usage includes fixed torpedoes, which might today be called mines).
  • Hand grenades are not usually classed as missiles.

A common further sub-division is to consider ballistic missile to mean a munition that follows a ballistic trajectory and cruise missile to describe a munition that generates lift.

Read more about this topic:  Missile

Other articles related to "etymology and usage":

Sexual Predator - Definitions and Distinctions - Etymology and Usage
... The term is applied according to a person's moral beliefs, and does not necessarily denote criminal behavior ... For example, a person who cruises a bar looking for consensual sex from someone else could be considered a sexual predator by some ...
Classes of Fixed-wing Aircraft - Airplane/aeroplane - Etymology and Usage
... In the United Kingdom and most of the Commonwealth, the term 'aeroplane' is used for powered fixed-wing aircraft ... In the United States and Canada, the term 'airplane' is usually applied to these aircraft ...
Smestow Brook - Etymology and Usage
... Some local people maintain that the lower part of the stream, approximately from Wombourne, is properly called the River Smestow, while the upper section is the Smestow Brook ... Certainly the lower Smestow is much more impressive since dredging and course alterations in the 1990s ...
Passenger Pigeon - Taxonomy and Systematics - Etymology
... In the 18th century, the Passenger Pigeon in Europe was known to the French as tourtre but, in New France, the North American bird was called tourte ... In modern French, the bird is known as the pigeon migrateur ...
Zarphatic Language - Etymology
... Zarphatic was written using a variant of the Hebrew alphabet, and first appeared in the 11th century, in glosses to texts of the Hebrew Bible and Talmud written by the great rabbis Rashi and Rabbi Moshe HaDarshan ... Constant expulsions and persecutions, resulting in great waves of Jewish migration, brought about the extinction of this short-lived, but important, language by the end of the 14th century ...

Famous quotes containing the words usage and/or etymology:

    Girls who put out are tramps. Girls who don’t are ladies. This is, however, a rather archaic usage of the word. Should one of you boys happen upon a girl who doesn’t put out, do not jump to the conclusion that you have found a lady. What you have probably found is a lesbian.
    Fran Lebowitz (b. 1951)

    The universal principle of etymology in all languages: words are carried over from bodies and from the properties of bodies to express the things of the mind and spirit. The order of ideas must follow the order of things.
    Giambattista Vico (1688–1744)