air·​frame ˈer-ˌfrām How to pronounce airframe (audio)
: the structure of an aircraft, rocket vehicle, or missile without the power plant
also : aircraft

Examples of airframe in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Military programs, including that for the Lockheed-Martin F-35B, had already contributed significant funds to developing the technology, which has since been modified by Joby and rival Archer for eVTOL implementation, with controls that are far smaller for the compact airframes. Basem Wasef, Robb Report, 21 Apr. 2024 In 2025, Sirius expects to manufacture several full-scale airframes and to put those through more extensive flight testing. Michael Verdon, Robb Report, 11 Mar. 2024 Since the blowout, the planemaker and airframe supplier Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc. have increased quality checks on the 737, and sought to retool their collaboration to reduce errors. Ryan Beene, Fortune, 21 Feb. 2024 The early concepts for the Osprey date back to the 1980s, when the Iran hostage crisis exposed a need to have an airframe that could move fast and hover or land like a helicopter, Bauernfeind said. CBS News, 8 Mar. 2024 The executive configuration offers a club-seating arrangement with a refreshment center, while the airframe design includes cargo doors to accommodate different missions. Daniel Cote, Robb Report, 7 Mar. 2024 On the roof, clips secure the van to an airframe with six tilting propellers, transforming it into a high-speed, long-range eVTOL (Electric Vertical Take-off and Landing) aircraft. Kurt Knutsson, Cyberguy Report, Fox News, 16 Feb. 2024 This decision came as something of a surprise because the company's president told Ars last August that the Unity airframe was capable of 500 to 1,000 flights. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 6 Feb. 2024 So, from a life-span perspective, how many missions do see with this airframe? Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 29 Aug. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'airframe.' 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

1930, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of airframe was in 1930

Dictionary Entries Near airframe

Cite this Entry

“Airframe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


air·​frame ˈa(ə)r-ˌfrām How to pronounce airframe (audio)
: the structure of an aircraft, rocket vehicle, or missile without the engine and related parts

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