air·​plane | \ ˈer-ˌplān How to pronounce airplane (audio) \

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 Fittingly, one of the recurrent themes of Last Witnesses is how war mangles the experience of childhood, turning what were once toys (airplanes, horses) into engines of terror and pets into food. Jennifer Wilson, The New Republic, "Svetlana Alexievich’s Child’s-Eye View," 22 July 2019 Current lithium-ion batteries have only about 2% the energy density of liquid jet fuel, and for an airplane, huge batteries are a non-starter. Washington Post, "Why Electric-Powered Airplanes Are Headed for Takeoff," 18 Sep. 2019 Flying in an airplane, eating bananas and carrots, sun bathing, getting medical scans, and simply living on planet Earth all expose a person to more radiation than living within 50 miles of a nuclear power plant. Katie Tubb For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "Nuclear power is essential to solving the world's energy problems," 16 Sep. 2019 Complaints had started to surface about sightseers in small airplanes clogging the runways in Nassau, of private-plane owners showing up with pallets of water and taking selfies. Emily Witt, The New Yorker, "A Haphazard Recovery in the Bahamas," 16 Sep. 2019 Boarding an airplane would never be the same again. Randy Blaser,, "Column: Remembering Sept. 11 and all that came after," 13 Sep. 2019 Projects to upgrade airfields in Germany, Luxembourg, Great Britain, Hungary, and Slovakia have been shelved, leaving the bases unable to support U.S. and NATO airplanes. NBC News, "Trump's plan to pay for border wall with Air Force funds risks national security, report says," 13 Sep. 2019 Naturally, airlines look to see whether candidates possess the proper licenses – such as the Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate – in addition to experience flying large-turbine-power airplanes in various weather conditions. John Cox, USA TODAY, "Ask the Captain: College vs. flight school; plus, what airlines want to see on your resume," 12 Sep. 2019 The assignment included coordinating the movements of military and law enforcement rescue vessels, helicopters and airplanes representing various local, county, state and federal agencies. David C. Henley, Daily Pilot, "‘It will live with me forever’: Coast Guard officer recalls 4 days of duty at site of dive boat tragedy," 9 Sep. 2019

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 2019

Time Traveler for airplane

The first known use of airplane was in 1906

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More Definitions for airplane


How to pronounce airplane (audio)

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 How to pronounce airplane (audio) \

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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a calculated move

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