From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search


English Wikipedia has an article on:


Etymology 1[edit]

From Italian rocchetta, from Old Italian rocchetto (rocket, literally a bobbin), diminutive of rocca (a distaff), from Lombardic rocko (spinning wheel), from Proto-West Germanic *rokkō, from Proto-Germanic *rukkô (a distaff, a staff with flax fibres tied loosely to it, used in spinning thread). Cognate with Old High German rocco, rocko, roccho, rocho ("a distaff"; > German Rocken (a distaff)), Swedish rock (a distaff), Icelandic rokkur (a distaff), Middle English rocke (a distaff). More at rock.


A rocket (vehicle propelled by a rocket engine).

rocket (plural rockets)

  1. A projectile.
    1. A cylindrical projectile that can be fired to a great height through combustion, (specifically) a type of firework of this form, typically exploding with light and colour; a skyrocket. [from 16th c.]
    2. A blunt lance head used in jousting.
    3. A long vehicle or craft propelled by a rocket engine; a missile or rocket-propelled spacecraft. [from 20th c.]
    4. An engine operating similarly to the pyrotechnic, generating thrust by the expulsion of hot gases; a rocket engine. [from 20th c.]
  2. Figurative uses.
    1. Something that travels high in the air and/or with great speed; especially (sport), a hard shot. [from 20th c.]
      • 2016 September 28, Tom English, “Celtic 3–3 Manchester City”, in BBC Sport[1], BBC Sport:
        Fernandinho launched a rocket that flew just over. Gundogan's shot hit off Sviatchenko and Gordon and went out. City pressed and pressed.
    2. (UK slang, originally military) A severe reprimand; a telling-off. [from 20th c.]
      • 1973, Elizabeth Mavor, A Green Equinox, Virago, published 2023, page 93:
        The Burmese nurse who'd gone with her was crying, for which she'd no doubt get a rocket from matron.
      • 1980, David Schoenbrun, Soldiers of the Night: The Story of the French Resistance, Dutton, →ISBN, page 203:
        While Solborg and Lemaigre were dreaming of revolts, Donovan had learned of Solborg’s insubordination and meddling. He sent him a “rocket” ordering him out of North Africa and back to Lisbon at once.
    3. (slang) An ace (the playing card).
    4. (Scotland, slang) A stupid or crazy person.
      • 2014, Alistair Beaton, Rob Drummond, Morna Pearson, Contemporary Scottish Plays:
        Why were the Luddites named efter Ned Ludd? A wee rocket. A wee fucken fairy bampot. A pure hooligan, smashing stuff up. A ned. Ned Ludd.
    5. (South East England, slang) A very physically attractive woman.
Derived terms[edit]
See also[edit]


rocket (third-person singular simple present rockets, present participle rocketing, simple past and past participle rocketed)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To accelerate swiftly and powerfully.
    • 2021 August 6, A. A. Dowd, “The Ryan Reynolds action-comedy Free Guy is a Truman Show for the Fortnite age”, in The A.V. Club[2]:
      With Free Guy, Reynolds gets just a little more in touch with his Carrey side via nothing less than his own version of The Truman Show, shorn of its daydream dread and rocketed into the age of Fortnite.
  2. To fly vertically.
  3. To rise or soar rapidly.
    • 2020 May 20, Paul Bigland, “East London Line's renaissance”, in Rail, pages 48–49:
      The project was attractive because of the ability to maximise the use of existing and decommissioned railways, minimise land take, and decrease the amount of disruption during the project. With London land prices rocketing, there was also a significant financial incentive.
    • 2023 May 24, Phillip Inman, “Brexit food trade barriers have cost UK households £7bn, report finds”, in The Guardian[3], →ISSN:
      The cost of food in the UK had rocketed by 25% since 2019, the researchers calculated, but if the post-Brexit trade restrictions were not in place then this increase would be only 17% – nearly a third lower.
  4. To experience sudden fame, popularity, or success.
    After spending years in obscurity, the band finally rocketed last week.
  5. To carry something in a rocket.
  6. To attack something with rockets.

Etymology 2[edit]

Borrowed from French roquette, from Italian ruchetta, diminutive of ruca, from Latin eruca. Cognate to arugula, rucola, eruca, roquette.

English Wikipedia has an article on:


rocket leaf (Eruca sativa)

rocket (uncountable)

  1. The leaf vegetable Eruca sativa or Eruca vesicaria.
  2. Rocket larkspur (Consolida regalis).
Derived terms[edit]




rocket m (plural rockets)

  1. rocket (weapon)

Further reading[edit]