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 Accident and aviation experts said that tensions between aircraft companies and local F.A.A. inspectors are not uncommon. Mike Baker, New York Times, "Years of Safety Disputes: Inside the Company that Flew Kobe Bryant," 6 Feb. 2020 According to aviation experts, the new plane looks like the B-2 bomber with some key differences. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The B-21 Bomber Is the Coolest Plane We've Never Seen," 3 Feb. 2020 OneWeb aims to provide full commercial global services for sectors such as maritime, aviation, government and enterprise in 2021. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Rocket Report: Starlink flies, OneWeb has next mega-constellation launch," 31 Jan. 2020 However, aviation experts who reviewed the available details expressed skepticism. USA Today, "Calm after Iran missile strikes, then a fiery plane crash. Here's how the horror unfolded," 11 Jan. 2020 Hints in the aircraft’s description led some aviation experts to speculate that one of LOUT’s radar-evading powers could come from a lack of conventional moving control surfaces. Eric Tegler, Scientific American, "The Next DARPA X-Plane Won’t Maneuver like Any Plane Before It," 9 Jan. 2020 Al Shamrani's program started in August of 2017 and was scheduled to conclude in August next year and included English language training, basic aviation, and initial pilot training. Arkansas Online, "Saudi pilot slain after killing 3 people at Florida base," 7 Dec. 2019 However, that likely only extends some 12 miles off of the Iranian coast, aviation experts said. David Martin, CBS News, "FAA bars U.S. airlines from Iranian airspace over Strait of Hormuz and Gulf of Oman after drone shot down," 21 June 2019 Some of the visiting firefighters have been part of elite ground crews, but far more have arrived with expertise in fire management, planning and aviation. New York Times, "3 U.S. Firefighters Die in Plane Crash as Australia’s Blazes Intensify," 23 Jan. 2020

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.

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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

12 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Aviation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aviation. Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for aviation


How to pronounce aviation (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of aviation

: the business or practice of flying airplanes, helicopters, etc.


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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