air·​plane ˈer-ˌplān How to pronounce airplane (audio)
: a powered heavier-than-air aircraft with fixed wings from which it derives most of its lift

Illustration of airplane

Illustration of 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

Examples of airplane in a Sentence

my uncle learned how to fly an airplane while serving in the air force
Recent Examples on the Web One propulsive cut takes us from a deaf man skating into a flying airplane seen from below and back to his skateboard clashing with empty beer bottles. Carlos Aguilar, Variety, 16 Nov. 2023 Staffing shortages at facilities that manage airplane traffic are leading to significant flight delays as the Federal Aviation Administration shuffles personnel to maintain safety at the expense of efficiency, the report said. Andrew Tangel, WSJ, 15 Nov. 2023 Have kids write simple prompts on note cards (swimming, dog, airplane), then take turns acting out the words. Michelle Crouch, Parents, 14 Nov. 2023 The deal includes 28 737-8 and 17 737-10 models, with a potential for an additional 45 737 MAX airplanes. Marisa Garcia, Forbes, 13 Nov. 2023 The amendment comes on the heels of a U.S. government watchdog announcing an audit of Buttigieg's use of government airplanes for some trips. Virginia Chamlee, Peoplemag, 9 Nov. 2023 Father and son were master builders of paper airplanes, testing them at a park now named after the astronaut. Michael S. Rosenwald, Washington Post, 7 Nov. 2023 The mob overran the airport on Sunday, reportedly in search of Jews following the arrival of an airplane from Tel Aviv — an incident that underscores the potential for Moscow’s internal security regime to come under additional strain during Israel’s war with Hamas. Joel Gehrke, Washington Examiner, 2 Nov. 2023 Saturday, November 11 Christmas Island (Hallmark Channel): Rachel Skarsten and Andrew Walker star in this new Hallmark movie in which an airplane pilot and her passengers are stranded in a charming remote town over the holidays. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, 5 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'airplane.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


alteration of aeroplane

First Known Use

1906, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of airplane was in 1906

Dictionary Entries Near airplane

Cite this Entry

“Airplane.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


air·​plane ˈa(ə)r-ˌplān How to pronounce airplane (audio)
: a fixed-wing heavier-than-air aircraft that is driven by a propeller or by a forceful stream of gases backward and is supported by the reaction of the air against its wings

More from Merriam-Webster on airplane

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