air·​plane | \ˈer-ˌplān \

Definition of airplane 

: a powered heavier-than-air aircraft with fixed wings from which it derives most of its lift

Illustration of airplane

Illustration of airplane

airplane: 1 weather radar, 2 cockpit, 3 jet engine, 4 engine pod, 5 pylon, 6 wing, 7 vertical stabilizer, 8 rudder, 9, 10 tabs, 11 elevator, 12 horizontal stabilizer, 13 inboard flap, 14 inboard spoiler, 15, 16 tabs, 17 aileron, 18 outboard flap, 19 outboard spoiler, 20 sound suppressor, 21 thrust reverser, 22 cabin air intake, 23 fuselage, 24 nose landing gear

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Synonyms for airplane


aeroplane [chiefly British], plane

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Examples of airplane in a Sentence

my uncle learned how to fly an airplane during World War II

Recent Examples on the Web

This bed is like getting a whole row to yourself on an airplane. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "People Swear By This Green Tea Mattress On Amazon," 18 Oct. 2018 The size of the no-fly zone and the prohibition of fixed-wing airplanes puts a major dent in the way the U.S. and South Koreans train for war. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. Doesn’t Want a No-Fly Zone Over the Korean DMZ. Here’s Why.," 18 Oct. 2018 Sitting on an airplane with nothing better to do is the perfect time to treat your skin to a mini facial, and Ashley Benson knows it. Zoë Weiner, Teen Vogue, "Ashley Benson Shared a Selfie of Her Pimple Care Routine," 11 Oct. 2018 Like be on this floor, or get on an airplane, or go into a sports stadium, or buy something at the concession stand. Katherine Lagrave, Condé Nast Traveler, "Innovators: Biometrics Believer Caryn Seidman-Becker, CEO of Clear, on Never Needing ID Again," 11 Sep. 2018 The 23-year-old Afghan had spent nearly a third of his life in Germany before being forcibly returned on an airplane to Kabul last week, along with 68 other Afghan nationals. Luisa Beck, Washington Post, "German leader revels in deportations in a week when a refugee sent back to Kabul apparently hanged himself," 11 July 2018 On Tuesday, thousands of Twitter users were on the edge of their seats as one passenger detailed a blossoming love story sparked by switching seats on an airplane. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "Ex-USMNT player Stu Holden provides incredible twist to Twitter's best love story," 4 July 2018 Muffuletta New Orleans fans know the city produces the very best thing to bring on an airplane: muffuletta. Alex Van Buren,, "10 Snacks a Food Writer Packs for Day Hikes and Car Trips," 6 June 2018 Moses also brings up Dory Previn, who had a psychiatric episode on an airplane after her husband Andre Previn left her for Mia in 1969. Rebecca Farley,, "Inside Moses Farrow's Defense Of Woody Allen, Accusations Against Mia Farrow," 24 May 2018

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

1906, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for airplane

alteration of aeroplane

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Statistics for airplane

Last Updated

18 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for airplane

The first known use of airplane was in 1906

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More Definitions for airplane



English Language Learners Definition of airplane

: a machine that has wings and an engine and that flies through the air


air·​plane | \ˈer-ˌplān \

Kids Definition of airplane

: an aircraft with wings which do not move, that is heavier than air, is driven by a propeller or jet engine, and is supported by the action of the air against its wings

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