noun, often attributive
air·​craft | \ˈer-ˌkraft \
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

The deadly crash of a Lion Air Boeing 737 aircraft in Indonesia is one of the worst aviation catastrophes of 2018. Ben Otto, WSJ, "Indonesia Crash Probe Zeros In on Faulty Flight-Control Gear," 7 Nov. 2018 As expected, the Duchess had an outfit change on the plane and stepped out of the aircraft wearing a bright red Self-Portrait maxi dress and the same bag and clutch. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Wears Jason Wu and Self-Portrait to Visit Fiji and Tonga During Royal Tour," 25 Oct. 2018 Another reason why planes don’t fly higher is due to the weight of the aircraft. Celine Hacobian, Time, "Here's How High Planes Actually Fly, According to Experts," 27 June 2018 China recently has deployed anti-ship missiles, surface-to-air missiles, electronic jammers and other equipment on the Spratly Islands, and landed a bomber aircraft at Woody Island. Lolita C. Baldor, Anchorage Daily News, "Mattis stops in Alaska on his way to Asia, seeks ‘conversation’ with Chinese," 25 June 2018 The Federal Aviation Administration regulates commercial use of unmanned aircraft and requires a remote pilot certificate. Don Behm, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Drone operators raise concerns about Milwaukee County's proposed ban of devices in parks and parkways," 22 June 2018 In the first phase, the Air Force tested four aircraft at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Air Force tests two turboprops as potential A-10 “replacements”," 19 June 2018 China also recently landed a nuclear-capable H-6K bomber aircraft on Woody Island for the first time. James Griffiths, CNN, "Beijing may have removed missiles from disputed South China Sea island," 6 June 2018 Output would peak at 105 aircraft in 2023 at an annual cost of $13.4 billion and stay at that rate for six years. Anthony Capaccio,, "F-35 Defects Must Be Fixed Before Full-Production, GAO Says," 5 June 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

15 Nov 2018

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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 \
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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a private place of worship

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