noun, often attributive
avi·​a·​tion | \ ˌā-vē-ˈā-shən How to pronounce aviation (audio) , ˌa- \

Definition of aviation

1 : 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
2 : military airplanes carrier-based aviation
3 : 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 Fighting in the days ahead, including in Severodonetsk, will show to what extent these and other Western weapons systems supplied by the U.S. and allies could blunt the Russian advantage in artillery and aviation. Yaroslav Trofimov, WSJ, 10 May 2022 The video taken by the Pasco Sheriff's Office's aviation unit showed dozens of sharks swimming near the Anclote Sandbar and Anclote Island, north of Tampa. Stephen Smith, CBS News, 9 May 2022 Cal Fire’s entry into nighttime firefighting comes decades after the agency’s aviation branch started flying air tankers in the 1950s. San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 May 2022 Though curbs are now being loosened in Hong Kong, harsh travel restrictions over the past two years have temporarily reduced the proud aviation hub and freewheeling financial center to a shadow of its former self. Time, 6 May 2022 The company was led by really great people with aviation experience and a technology team that could make things happen. Harrison Wolf, Forbes, 6 May 2022 The company said both pilots were fully licensed and qualified to operate the aircraft, and the pairing did not not breach aviation or safety regulations. Hafsa Khalil, CNN, 5 May 2022 The series has achieved many aviation firsts, including breaking speed and altitude barriers, using new materials and propulsion systems, as well as developing hypersonic aircraft. Michael Verdon, Robb Report, 2 May 2022 The departure of so much talent threatens to undermine a host of Russian sectors, from the state media to aerospace and aviation industries already reeling from Western sanctions. Washington Post, 1 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'aviation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of aviation

1865, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for aviation

French, from Latin avis

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Time Traveler for aviation

Time Traveler

The first known use of aviation was in 1865

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Statistics for aviation

Last Updated

13 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Aviation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aviation. Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for aviation


avi·​a·​tion | \ ˌā-vē-ˈā-shən How to pronounce aviation (audio) \

Kids Definition of aviation

1 : the flying of aircraft
2 : the designing and making of aircraft


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