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 Workers are wiping down seats, window shades and overhead bin handles on aircraft that are parked overnight. Ryan Beene,, "Subways, Airports in Costly Rush to Clean Amid Virus Threat," 12 May 2020 The idea is to eventually eliminate reliance on aircraft with moving parts that can be damaged during planetary exploration. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "These Levitating 'Fruit Flies' Could Swarm on Mars for Science," 6 May 2020 While on board the aircraft, the masks may be removed for eating and drinking, if the emergency oxygen is deployed, or if flight attendants deem adequate physical distance can be maintained in-flight. Jessica Puckett, Condé Nast Traveler, "Flying During Coronavirus: How Airlines Are Changing Their In-Flight Rules," 5 May 2020 Starting May 11, American Airlines passengers will have to bring their own face coverings or masks and wear them while on board the aircraft. Isabel Garcia, House Beautiful, "These Major U.S. Airlines Will Require Passengers to Wear Face Coverings," 1 May 2020 Truett said fire crews will rely on aircraft more than usual this year to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 among firefighters. Perry Vandell, azcentral, "Arizona Gov. Ducey warns that wet winter could make for tough fire season during pandemic," 23 Apr. 2020 Additionally, social distancing measures will be implemented at terminals, gates and on board aircraft. Charles Trepany, USA TODAY, "Emirates airline adds limited flights repatriating Americans stranded abroad by coronavirus," 15 Apr. 2020 Three pilots, 10 flight attendants and more than 100 passengers shared space on the aircraft. Elliott Hester, Los Angeles Times, "I’m a flight attendant. My co-workers are starting to test positive for coronavirus," 15 Apr. 2020 These attachments—fins sloping upward and sometimes downward as well—cut the drag on aircraft and save fuel by reducing the whirling of air at the edges of wings. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, "Joe Clark Added Upswept Fins to Jet Wings, Saving Fuel," 10 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for aircraft

Time Traveler

The first known use of aircraft was in 1845

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Statistics for aircraft

Last Updated

16 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Aircraft.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for aircraft


How to pronounce aircraft (audio)

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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