noun, often attributive
air·​craft | \ ˈer-ˌkraft How to pronounce aircraft (audio) \
plural aircraft

Definition of aircraft

: a vehicle (such as an airplane or balloon) for traveling through the air

Examples of aircraft in a Sentence

a company that manufactures aircraft

Recent Examples on the Web

Eight small carriers have gone under since the start of the year, according to data by aviation advisory firm IBA, releasing a total of 71 aircraft—many of which are owned by lessors. Jon Sindreu, WSJ, "Bankruptcies Test One of Wall Street’s Favorite Trades," 5 Apr. 2019 The Pentagon said Keown was flying one of four aircraft of the 36th Fighter Squadron, 8th Fighter Group on a mission to locate a missing B-25 bomber when the weather turned bad and the fighters headed to an auxiliary airfield on April 16, 1944. CBS News, "Pilot missing since World War II buried at Arlington National Cemetery," 15 June 2018 The highly versatile, supersonic B-1 carries the largest conventional payload of any aircraft in the US Air Force. Ryan Browne, CNN, "US Air Force temporarily grounds all B-1 bombers for safety reasons," 8 June 2018 Lochlan gaped skyward as two planes from 104th Squadron of the Maryland Air National Guard flew over the Towson parade — and paid their respects to the crowd by dipping the aircraft’s wings. Mary Carole Mccauley,, "Savoring the sweet taste of patriotism at Fourth of July parades around Baltimore," 4 July 2018 Virgin Galactic, on its fifth supersonic, rocket- powered test flight, successfully sent passenger Beth Moses, the company's Chief Astronaut Instructor, to the edge of space, the first non-pilot to ever fly on a commercial aircraft. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Virgin Galactic Reaches the Edge of Space—This Time With a Passenger in Tow," 22 Feb. 2019 One example of this is an option available on Airbus aircraft called runway overrun protection. Alyson Behr, Ars Technica, "More than an auto-pilot, AI charts its course in aviation," 5 Dec. 2018 In the March 2 incident, witnesses claim that a man began arguing with flight attendants regarding overhead bins on the Southwest aircraft, Fox 4 reported. Fox News, "Violent brawl delays Southwest Airlines flight after overhead bin fight," 2 Oct. 2018 While this mass inside the electronic device was obviously not an imminent terrorist threat to the traveling public, the interception did prevent a possible wildlife threat on an aircraft. Monica Rodriguez, Fortune, "Passenger Tried to Smuggle Large Snake on a Plane, TSA Says," 10 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'aircraft.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of aircraft

1845, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for aircraft

Last Updated

19 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for aircraft

The first known use of aircraft was in 1845

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More Definitions for aircraft



English Language Learners Definition of aircraft

: a machine (such as an airplane or a helicopter) that flies through the air


air·​craft | \ ˈer-ˌkraft How to pronounce aircraft (audio) \
plural aircraft

Kids Definition of aircraft

: a vehicle (as an airplane or helicopter) that can travel through the air and that is supported either by its own lightness or by the action of the air against its surfaces

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Comments on aircraft

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