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



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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

John enjoyed building model airplanes, reading, and was an avid fan of the Boston Red Sox and Boston Bruins., "John J. Leckfor," 5 July 2018 Beijing is threatening to respond to a direct tariff attack with duties of its own on everything from American soybeans to airplanes. Andrew Mayeda,, "Why Trump's Trade War Isn't Worrying Most Economists, Yet," 5 June 2018 Many experts, including SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, have likened reusable rockets to airplanes. Loren Grush, The Verge, "SpaceX’s last Falcon 9 upgrade could finally make reusable rockets cost-effective," 9 May 2018 Of course, what wouldn't?) When Rod's entourage of women returned to the stage, after a quick costume change, wearing matching plaid kilts, my eyes most certainly rolled skyward to the circling billboard airplanes. Doug Maccash,, "Rod Stewart proved irresistible at Jazz Fest 2018," 28 Apr. 2018 These workers are tasked with preparing, packaging and delivering food to the airplanes. Andrea Rumbaugh, Houston Chronicle, "United Airlines catering workers to protest at IAH," 19 Apr. 2018 Hypersonic missiles fly into space after launch, but then come down and fly at high speeds on a flight path similar to an airplane. Barbara Starr, CNN, "US general warns of hypersonic weapons threat from Russia & China," 27 Mar. 2018 In dollar terms, only airplanes are a more significant US export to China, the world’s second-largest economy. Raymond Zhong,, "China’s taste for soybeans is a weak spot in trade war with Trump," 9 July 2018 That left the 23-year old from Baltimore’s east side to bounce between short-term jobs, including cleaning airplanes and working fast-food counters. Eric Morath, WSJ, "U.S. Hiring Strong in June; Unemployment Rate Rises as More Enter Labor Force," 6 July 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

9 Sep 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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