avi·​a·​tion ˌā-vē-ˈā-shən How to pronounce aviation (audio)
often attributive
: the operation of aircraft
a pioneer in the early days of aviation
a career in aviation
sometimes, specifically : the operation of heavier-than-air aircraft
Fascinated from that moment on by aviation, [John] Montgomery pursued pioneering experiments in the design of a heavier-than-air glider … Kevin Starr
: military airplanes
carrier-based aviation
: airplane manufacture, development, and design
By that time, [Theodore P.] Wright already had established himself as a leading figure in American aviation.Michael Rothschild

Examples of aviation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The volcano’s alert level was raised to warning status and the aviation color code went to red as scientists evaluate the eruption and associated hazards. Robert Higgs, cleveland, 11 Sep. 2023 Pence also stopped in Iowa at a 9/11 remembrance ceremony in Ankeny alongside firefighters and a few dozen residents, also noting that his son, Michael was checking into Top Gun, the aviation program, Monday. Tal Axelrod, ABC News, 11 Sep. 2023 The suit seeks an injunction to force AOG to provide more information to aid the aviation industry’s search for suspect components. Ryan Beene, Fortune, 8 Sep. 2023 Technology in aviation Technology in aviation has increasingly been under the microscope after a series of high-profile meltdowns in the last 12 months. Zach Wichter, USA TODAY, 5 Sep. 2023 Simon Kitchen, aviation management major, and Reagan Youngblood, chemistry major, are two out-of-state students at Auburn. Jemma Stephenson, al, 28 Aug. 2023 Experts said the inquiry has exposed longstanding vulnerabilities in the FAA’s medical system for screening pilots and that the sheer number of unreported health problems presents a risk to aviation safety. Craig Whitlock, BostonGlobe.com, 27 Aug. 2023 Logan was reporting 41 cancellations and 256 delays as of 5:30 p.m., according to aviation monitoring site Flight Aware. Travis Andersen, BostonGlobe.com, 30 Aug. 2023 The Center for Research and Prevention of Aeronautical Accidents in Brazil contacted the Russian government last week to ask if a probe will be opened under the United Nations' civil aviation rules, according to a report from Reuters. Fox News, 30 Aug. 2023 See More

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

Word History


French, from Latin avis

First Known Use

1865, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of aviation was in 1865

Dictionary Entries Near aviation

Cite this Entry

“Aviation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aviation. Accessed 27 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


avi·​a·​tion ˌā-vē-ˈā-shən How to pronounce aviation (audio)
: the operation of aircraft (as airplanes or helicopters) that are heavier than air
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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