air·​foil ˈer-ˌfȯi(-ə)l How to pronounce airfoil (audio)
: a body (such as an airplane wing or propeller blade) designed to provide a desired reaction force when in motion relative to the surrounding air

Examples of airfoil in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The center of pressure for an airfoil, however, is locked in place and does not change with the angle of attack. Sarah Wells, Popular Mechanics, 9 Aug. 2023 This simulation, generated using Longhorn at the Texas Advanced Computing Center, shows the turbulence that results as water flows past an airfoil acting as a ship’s hull. Discover Magazine, 31 Jan. 2017 That was immediately followed by a quick clip of the rapper falling off an airfoil, and then more golf. USA TODAY, 16 June 2023 Swartzlander's lightfoil is actually quite like an airfoil, with one side rounded and the other flat. Andrew Moseman, Discover Magazine, 6 Dec. 2010 In the bowing airfoil shape, air moving over the longer, curved side moves faster than air flowing by the other side, generating lift. Caleb Paine, Popular Mechanics, 30 Mar. 2021 The airfoil — that web of fabric between the legs of a wing-suited birdman — sometimes provides lift but mostly delays the fall. James McCommons, Discover Magazine, 28 May 2015 Would there be any significant advantages to making the wing into a more complex shape, for example with an airfoil cross-section instead of a flat plate? IEEE Spectrum, 8 Mar. 2023 Kwak: Making a well-streamlined airfoil (instead of a flat plate) is actually our next goal to achieve more efficient aerodynamic properties, such as lower drag and higher lift. IEEE Spectrum, 8 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'airfoil.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1919, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of airfoil was in 1919

Dictionary Entries Near airfoil

Cite this Entry

“Airfoil.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


air·​foil -ˌfȯil How to pronounce airfoil (audio)
: an airplane surface (as a wing or rudder) designed to produce reaction from the air through which it moves

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