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


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

One thing that Hensley has tried to make clear in her responses is that the U.S. Department of Transportation mandates that miniature horses are allowed to accompany those with disabilities in the cabin of an airplane. Hannah Chubb,, "Miniature Service Horse Travels With Her Owner on American Airlines Flight from Chicago," 3 Sep. 2019 There’s no substitute for flying an airplane into a storm and taking direct measurements. Katherine Ellen Foley, Quartz, "How to read the maps that predict hurricane paths," 30 Aug. 2019 In one cartoon, a man holding an integrin with the wrong shape is about to jump out of an airplane. Jonathan Saltzman,, "Executive draws on his career experience (literally, for cartoons)," 28 Aug. 2019 The latest of these is The Passengers from John Marrs, a British author specializing in technothrillers best enjoyed on a beach or in an airplane. Alex Davies, WIRED, "A Novelist Takes Self-Driving to Its Illogical Conclusion," 27 Aug. 2019 This weekend, officers tracked the participants on Marine Drive and Northeast Airport Way using an airplane and on-the-ground officers., "5 arrested in weekend sting targeting Portland’s illegal street racing scene," 12 Aug. 2019 Sure, there have always been those who believe the moon landing was faked, or that an airplane didn’t hit the Pentagon. Alan Murray, Fortune, "The Rise of the “Deep Fakes”: CEO Daily," 24 July 2019 If an airplane can carry more than 100 people, the flight is required to have one more flight attendant for every additional 50 passengers. Aditi Shrikant, Vox, "Why airlines make you check your carry-on bags," 20 Dec. 2018 The process is similar to tracking a moving airplane using radar, Richards notes. Maya Wei-haas, National Geographic, "Earth's inner core is doing something weird," 19 Aug. 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

9 Sep 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 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

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


authorized for issue (as a bond)

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