Word of the Day: rocket

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Word of the Day
March 16, 2016
rocket (noun, verb)
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A rocket is any tube-like device that contains fuel, which burns and makes it fly through the air; it can be used for fireworks, signaling, etc. A rocket is also a space capsule put into orbit. As a verb, it means 'to transport with a rocket,' 'to move very rapidly,' and, informally, 'to increase suddenly.' Rocket has another completely different meaning; as a noun, it is a Mediterranean plant used in green leaf salads, although it is more commonly known as arugula in US English.


Example sentences


The fireworks display organizers saved a big rocket for the finale.
The policeman sent up a rocket as a warning.
Crowds of people gathered to see the rocket launch into space.
The spaceship was rocketed into orbit.
The car rocketed along the highway.
Prices have rocketed since last year.
Harry added some rocket leaves to his sandwich.


Words often used with rocket
it's not rocket science: an expression meaning that something is not really very complicated. Example: "Haven't you finished doing your homework yet? Come on; it's not rocket science!" A similar expression with the same meaning is "It's not brain surgery."
give someone a rocket (UK): reprimand someone severely, get very mad at someone. Example: "The boss gave Joe a rocket when he arrived 30 minutes late for an important meeting."
Additional information
In English we also have the related word skyrocket. This word can refer to a kind of rocket, but (perhaps more commonly) it is an informal verb meaning 'to increase a lot' or 'to increase astronomically.' Example: "The cost of US colleges has skyrocketed since my parents were kids." Skyrocket is the opposite of plummet, one of our first Words of the Day.
Other forms
rocketlike (adjective)
Rocket dates back to the early 16th century and comes from the Gothic word rukka and the Italian word rocchetta, a diminutive of rocca, meaning 'distaff' (with reference to its shape). The salad meaning dates back to the early 17th century and comes from the Italian word ruchetta and the Latin word ērūca, which refers to a kind of herb.
Rocket in other languages
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