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

Under a preliminary deal, Boeing will own 80% of a partnership controlling Embraer’s commercial airplane and services businesses while the Brazilian manufacturer holds 20%, the companies said in a statement Thursday. Fabiola Moura,, "Boeing takes control of Embraer's commercial jet business in $4.75-billion deal," 5 July 2018 The drinks list has taken the form of a record album, an airplane safety card and, now, a cookbook, in which the offerings represent collaborations with Bay Area chefs such as Dominique Crenn and Angela Pinkerton. Elizabeth G. Dunn, WSJ, "My Cocktail’s Smarter Than Yours: A Guide to the World’s Brainiest Bar Menus," 12 July 2018 One of the country’s first universally accessible playgrounds, Aidan’s Place offers up water spritzers, elevated sandboxes, and an airplane cockpit outfitted with a talktube radio for kids of all abilities. Brittany Martin, Los Angeles Magazine, "Splash Around in Some Water at These 6 L.A. Parks," 12 June 2018 The actor stars in Mission: Impossible — Fallout, the sixth in the action franchise that has already seen him hang from the side of an airplane and other insane things. Peter Mikelbank,, "Tom Cruise Took ‘A Year and a Half’ to Train for Just One Sequence in New Mission: Impossible," 12 July 2018 Seven years later, a few animals were released as an experimental resettlement program in the Alligator River refuge, near where the Wright brothers tested their first airplanes. Robbie George, National Geographic, "Rule to Allow Hunting Could Doom Rare Red Wolves," 29 June 2018 Boeing is confident in the cyber-security measures of its airplanes. Kris Van Cleave, CBS News, "DHS experts warn it's a "matter of time" before hackers hit commercial airliners," 12 June 2018 D-Day arrives — then and now — and Tom Rice jumps out of airplanes. John Wilkens,, "D-Day paratrooper from Coronado will jump again in France — at age 96," 6 June 2018 Don’t just get excited and start driving inside the airplane. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "At this rodeo, robots enter downed planes and explore fake radioactive disasters," 23 June 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

4 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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Comments on airplane

What made you want to look up airplane? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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