ballistic (adj.)

1775, "pertaining to construction and use of thrown objects," ultimately from Greek ballein "to throw" (from PIE root *gwele- "to throw, reach"). Of rockets or missiles (ones that are guided while under propulsion, but fall freely), from 1949. Ballistic missile first attested 1954; they attain extreme heights, hence figurative expression go ballistic (1981) "become irrationally angry."

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