air·​lift ˈer-ˌlift How to pronounce airlift (audio)
: a system of transporting cargo or passengers by aircraft often to or from an otherwise inaccessible area
airlift transitive verb

Examples of airlift in a Sentence

an emergency airlift to deliver supplies to the famine victims
Recent Examples on the Web Caroline’s subsequent diagnosis of influenza A and pneumonia in both lungs required supplemental oxygen, and an eventual airlift to a hospital with a dedicated pediatric unit for more specialized management. Nick Blackmer, Verywell Health, 9 Nov. 2023 Canada's military has been assisting local firefighters and flying people out on Hercules aircraft as part of what officials called the largest airlift in the territory's history. Jeanine Santucci, USA TODAY, 17 Aug. 2023 The San Diego search-and-rescue pup is trained to look for survivors after an earthquake, building collapse or cliff failure — missions that may require an airlift. Karen Kucher, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Nov. 2023 Before Raytheon, Pennington's LinkedIn account says, he was employed by the Air Force for more than eight years as an airlift and special missions aircraft maintainer. Natalie Kainz, NBC News, 24 Oct. 2023 Thousands descended upon the Kabul airport, where the U.S. military organized an emergency airlift. Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker, 9 Oct. 2023 In 1973, C-5s were the backbone of an emergency airlift of supplies to Israel, which had been the victim of a surprise attack by its Arab neighbors. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 18 Aug. 2023 His eyes and lungs are also of concern, authorities said, prompting his airlift to UAB’s trauma ICU. William Thornton |, al, 15 May 2023 For days, Washington said there were no preparations underway, even as other nations such as Britain, France, Germany, China, India and Turkey organized airlifts and convoys to remove their citizens from the country. Rachel Chason, Washington Post, 29 Apr. 2023 See More

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

1943, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of airlift was in 1943

Dictionary Entries Near airlift

Cite this Entry

“Airlift.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


air·​lift ˈa(ə)r-ˌlift How to pronounce airlift (audio)
: a system of transporting cargo or passengers by aircraft to or from an area otherwise impossible to reach
airlift verb

More from Merriam-Webster on airlift

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