au·​to·​ro·​ta·​tion ˌȯ-tō-rō-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce autorotation (audio)
: the turning of the rotor of an autogiro or a helicopter with the resulting lift caused solely by the aerodynamic forces induced by motion of the rotor along its flight path
autorotate intransitive verb

Examples of autorotation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Helicopter pilots deal with such emergencies using a technique called autorotation, which requires some deft manipulation of the helicopter’s rotor when power first cuts out and again when the helicopter nears the ground. IEEE Spectrum, 28 Dec. 2011 The altitude record for a rotorcraft stands at just over 40,000 feet, and during that flight the engine flamed out and the pilot had to land using autorotation. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, 15 May 2018 According to People, an autorotation is when an aircraft flies purely through air moving up its rotors. Megan Friedman, Country Living, 14 Sep. 2017 The company also should not have let an inexperienced instructor perform an autorotation on Kristian Blackwell's first night flight, the lawsuit said. Samantha Matsumoto,, 25 May 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'autorotation.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


auto- + rotation

First Known Use

1926, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of autorotation was in 1926

Dictionary Entries Near autorotation

Cite this Entry

“Autorotation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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