airplane mode

variants: US airplane mode or British aeroplane mode

Definition of airplane mode

: an operating mode for an electronic device (such as a mobile phone) in which the device does not connect to wireless networks and cannot send or receive communications (such as calls or text messages) or access the Internet but remains usable for other functions Today [in 2009], airlines may let passengers use newer-model cell phones in what's called "airplane" mode, which essentially disables the transmission function so they can't make calls. … FAA guidance allows cell phone calls once the plane has landed and is taxiing to the gate.Air Safety Week Now, I do all I can to ensure that I have a calm and productive morning. I keep my phone in the kitchen overnight, often not turning it off airplane mode until I start work.— Benjamin Spall

First Known Use of airplane mode

2002, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about airplane mode

Time Traveler for airplane mode

Time Traveler

The first known use of airplane mode was in 2002

See more words from the same year

Statistics for airplane mode

Cite this Entry

“Airplane mode.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Comments on airplane mode

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


Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!