launch

Definitions

General English

General Science

  • verb to begin a planned activity, especially by announcing it publicly

Aviation

  • verb to slide or drop a boat into the water to make it ready for use
  • verb to force something into motion

Banking

  • noun the act of putting a company on the Stock Exchange for the first time
  • verb to put a company on the Stock Exchange for the first time

Commerce

  • noun the act of putting a new product on the market
  • verb to put a new product on the market, usually spending money on advertising it

Computing

  • noun the process of putting a new product on the market
  • verb to start or run a program

Electronics

  • To propel into motion, or to initiate. For example, to load and run a computer program.
  • To transfer energy from a wire or cable to a waveguide.

Information & Library Science

  • verb to start a new activity or make a new product available to the public

Media Studies

  • noun an occasion such as a party at which a product is launched

Military

  • noun an act of launching a missile or rocket
  • noun a ceremony of placing a newly built ship into the water for the first time
  • noun a small boat (especially one which is carried on a ship and is used to transport people or things to the shore or to other ships)
  • verb to fire a missile or rocket into the air
  • verb to set an attack or other offensive operation in motion

Origin & History of “launch”

English has two separate words launch. The verb, ‘propel’ (14th c.), is related to lance. Lances are propelled by throwing, and so the derived Old French verb lancier was used for ‘throw’. English acquired it via the Anglo-Norman form launcher. The sense ‘put a boat into the water’ emerged at the end of the 14th century. From the same source came modern French élancer ‘throw out’, whose derivative élan was acquired by English in the 19th century.

Launch ‘boat’ (17th c.) comes via Portuguese lancha from a Malay word related to lancharan ‘boat’.
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