Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to ablator: Rotoablation
1. Surgical excision or amputation of a body part or tissue.
2. The erosive processes by which a glacier is reduced.
a. The dissipation of heat generated by atmospheric friction, especially in the atmospheric reentry of a spacecraft or missile, by means of a melting heat shield.
b. The reduction or removal of heat-protective surface material by aerodynamic friction, as from a heat shield.
[Late Latin ablātiō, ablātiōn-, from Latin ablātus, past participle of auferre, to carry away : ab-, away; see ab-1 + lātus, carried; see telə- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
(Astronautics) the heat shield of a space vehicle, which melts or wears away during re-entry into the earth's atmosphere
[C20: from ablation]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
1. the act or process of ablating.
2. the removal of organs, abnormal growths, or harmful substances from the body by mechanical means, as by surgery.
3. the erosion of the protective outer surface (ablator) of a spacecraft or missile due to heat during reentry through the atmosphere.
[1570–80; < Late Latin]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.