air·​man | \-mən \

Definition of airman 

1 : a civilian or military pilot, aviator, or aviation technician

2 : an enlisted person in the air force: such as

a : an enlisted person of one of the three ranks below sergeant

b : an enlisted person ranking above an airman basic and below an airman first class

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Synonyms for airman


aviator, birdman, flier (also flyer), pilot

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Examples of airman in a Sentence

her father was an airman who was shot down in Vietnam

Recent Examples on the Web

Finding the right people to become battlefield airmen has long been an uphill battle. Sig Christenson, San Antonio Express-News, "AF recruiting squadron to seek — and keep — toughest airmen," 30 June 2018 The 33-year-old airman, who worked as a lead surveillance analyst on a base in Kirtland, N.M., had a top secret security clearance, according to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. Meagan Flynn, Washington Post, "Airman with top-secret clearance, who disappeared in 1983, is discovered living in California," 11 June 2018 The nine airmen, all from the Puerto Rico Air National Guard, were officially pronounced dead Thursday, hours after authorities combed through the wreckage. Fox News, "Georgia military plane crash killed 9 airmen; aircraft was manufactured in late 1970s, officials say," 3 May 2018 Hermond joined the Air Force in 1996 and served 10 years as an airman, the Guard's Col. Eliott C. Mclaughlin, CNN, "Police find man's body in flood-ravaged Maryland river," 29 May 2018 And hundreds of thousands of soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines have been doing that. Fox News, "Gowdy to Schiff: GOP doesn't give a damn what you think," 6 July 2018 The tests were not conceived with input from A-10 pilots, Air Force Joint Terminal Attack Controllers, the airmen who call in air strikes and air support, or the Army and Marines. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Long Awaited A-10 vs.-F-35 Flyoff Is Off to a Sketchy Start," 11 July 2018 If things go well, fewer airmen will fail, saving time and money. Sig Christenson, San Antonio Express-News, "AF recruiting squadron to seek — and keep — toughest airmen," 30 June 2018 During one recent shift, the entire Global Positioning System was being operated by two 19-year-old airmen (who, the Air Force emphasizes, are rigorously trained). Garrett M. Graff, WIRED, "The New Arms Race Threatening to Explode in Space," 26 June 2018

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

1873, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for airman

Last Updated

11 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for airman

The first known use of airman was in 1873

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More Definitions for airman



English Language Learners Definition of airman

: a member of the air force with a rank below that of sergeant


air·​man | \ˈer-mən \
plural airmen\ -​mən \

Kids Definition of airman

1 : an enlisted person in the air force in one of the ranks below sergeant

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Comments on airman

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playful or foolish behavior

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