air·​lift | \ ˈer-ˌlift How to pronounce airlift (audio) \

Definition of airlift

: a system of transporting cargo or passengers by aircraft often to or from an otherwise inaccessible area

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Other Words from airlift

airlift transitive verb

Examples of airlift in a Sentence

an emergency airlift to deliver supplies to the famine victims

Recent Examples on the Web

When the largest wave of about 14,000 Ethiopian Jews arrived over three days in 1991 in a secret airlift, Israelis rejoiced and immigrants kissed the tarmac. New York Times, "After a Police Shooting, Ethiopian Israelis Seek a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Reckoning," 13 July 2019 Large numbers of Ethiopian Jews began arriving in Israel via secret airlifts in the 1980s. Washington Post, "Ethiopian Israeli musicians use stage to promote struggles," 12 July 2019 The routine airlift mission was on a C-17 shared by the Air Force and the Alaska Air National Guard at the Anchorage base., "Tom Steyer qualifies for October debates, bringing field to 11," 9 Sep. 2019 In 1992, the White House announced that the Pentagon would begin emergency airlifts of food to Somalia to alleviate mass deaths by starvation., "This day in history," 14 Aug. 2019 The Sentinelese reputation for aggression was reinforced in 1981 when dozens of armed warriors tried to surround a beached freighter that had run aground, forcing the crew to radio for an airlift. Alex Perry, Outside Online, "The Last Days of John Allen Chau," 24 July 2019 After direct pressure and a tourniquet would not stop the bleeding, the airlift got her to Friendship in Northwest Washington in about 20 minutes, which probably saved her life, Ryan said. Washington Post, "Kylie, an injured D.C. cadaver dog, is recovering after rescuers rushed her to treatment by helicopter," 17 July 2019 Big airlifts began in the 1980s, when Ethiopia suffered tyranny and famine. The Economist, "The killing of a black Jew sparks protests in Israel," 11 July 2019 This included the famous airlift that took Barack Obama’s father to study in Hawaii and later Harvard. Abdi Latif Dahir, Quartz Africa, "Top American universities are doubling down on their presence across Africa," 5 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'airlift.' 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 airlift

1943, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for airlift

Last Updated

10 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for airlift

The first known use of airlift was in 1943

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English Language Learners Definition of airlift

: an occurrence in which people or things are carried to or from a place by airplanes during an emergency when other methods are not possible


air·​lift | \ ˈer-ˌlift How to pronounce airlift (audio) \
airlifted; airlifting

Kids Definition of airlift

: to move people or cargo by aircraft usually to or from an area that cannot be reached otherwise Food was airlifted to the earthquake victims.

Other Words from airlift

airlift noun

More from Merriam-Webster on airlift

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with airlift

Spanish Central: Translation of airlift

Nglish: Translation of airlift for Spanish Speakers

Comments on airlift

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to fake an opponent out of position

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