Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An offensive ballistic missile system having warheads aimed at independent targets that can be launched by a single booster rocket.
  • n. One of these warheads.
  • transitive v. To provide with multiple independent warheads.
  • intransitive v. To equip a military force with a missile system of multiple independent warheads.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • abbr. multiple independently-targettable reentry vehicle - the independently targettable reentry capsule for a ballistic missile's payload, typically a nuclear weapon, where the missile has multiple instances of such

Etymologies

m(ultiple) i(ndependently-targeted) r(eentry) v(ehicles).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Weapons specialists developed something called a MIRV, a warhead that perched atop a missile containing as many as 10 separate bombs that would disperse and end the world many times over.

    RutlandHerald.com

  • Each has 24 Trident-II missiles with 4 MIRV warheads of the W76 and W88 warheads, that will be a total of 1152 warheads.

    Matthew Yglesias » Predictions Are Hard, Especially About the Future

  • Sometimes the acronyms will become verbs ( "just MIRV your warheads" was a favorite of Cold War-era balance-of-terror counters; you figure out what it means) just to make things obnoxiously inscrutible.

    That Sweet That Nasty That Gushy Stuff | ATTACKERMAN

  • This means every USN Fleet base, every one of the major Commands and all their subordinate units were likely crispy crittered to the extent that only those small enough and/or far away in the field would likely be MIRV-free and they would have at most 7-10 days of food and water to hike out of the BFE with.

    Comic-Con 08: Awesome Terminator Salvation Updates - Rated R?! « FirstShowing.net

  • Russia is not prevented from deploying large numbers of land-based MIRVs, which have been described as the most destabilizing nuclear weapon system, and where the United States has announced it will de-MIRV its ICBMs. START II banned land-based MIRVs, but its progeny puts them right back in the Russian arsenal.

    After START, when do we stop the one-sided deals?

  • The Russian are modernizing what strategic force with Bulava's and MIRV capable RS-24's I think those are ballistic missiles.

    Wired Top Stories

  • The difficulty of miniaturizing even single warheads, much less MRV, MIRV, or MARV, is hard enough that even with some plans of US thermonuclear weapons, there's much in the manufacturing techniques that probably weren't well documented.

    Who Destroyed Post-9/11 Unity? The GOP, That's Who

  • Even the smallest one was too big for an ICBM or its MIRV delivery platform.

    Cheeseburger Gothic » The Battlestar Finale Thread

  • The invasion of Iraq had a MIRV warhead full of motives, none of which had to do with eliminating Saddam's arsenal of WMDs.

    Pentagon Thievery

  • However, combine that assertion with a country that recently has developed and tested MIRV missile technology, combine that with a country that has recently developed and tested missile technology that has a low radar visibility ... '

    Iran - Are they Inviting Attack, if so, Why?

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