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

The British singer frequently hops on and off an airplane in between shows and appearances and has built a wardrobe that’s made for being on the go as a result. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Dua Lipa Has the New Must-Have Accessory for Undercover Celebrity Travel," 3 Feb. 2019 Clearly, Overgard has been living for some time in the hull of his crashed airplane and has a whole system down. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Arctic is a pure distillation of the man vs. nature genre," 1 Feb. 2019 For example, airplanes don't only generate warming through carbon emissions; their contrails also seed high-altitude clouds, which have an insulating effect. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "When will electric airliners make sense?," 14 Dec. 2018 Witnesses directed first responders to a brush area where the airplane was burning, the release said. Elyssa Cherney,, "2 dead after airplane crash in western Illinois," 24 June 2018 The airplane will be on display starting Thursday and continuing through Sunday. Littice Bacon-blood,, "Looking for a thrill? How about a ride in a vintage plane?," 24 Apr. 2018 But heels are really a tough sell for a day that consists of running through the airport, getting shuffled through security, and squeezing into an airplane seat. Maggie Maloney, Town & Country, "7 Convenient and Comfortable Travel Outfits," 17 Dec. 2018 Longer journeys overnight would be possible with the sleeper configuration, which—with the exception of an attentive cabin crew and a bathroom—rivals the most luxurious first class airplane seat. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "This Volvo concept could replace planes and trains with the automobile," 14 Sep. 2018 Add to that weaker than normal winds aloft — about where airplanes fly — that usually shred storms. Seth Borenstein, Fox News, "Science Says: Hawaii hurricanes rare, but getting less so," 24 Aug. 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

11 Feb 2019

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

US : 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

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