noun, often attributive
avi·​a·​tion | \ ˌā-vē-ˈā-shən, 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 … the basic division of human flight into aviation (heavier-than-air flight) with its aviators, and aerostation (lighter-than-air flight) with its aeronauts. — Charles H. Gibbs-Smith
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

Thanks to this week's host Mark Ellwood, along with Traveler's Meredith Carey and Katherine LaGrave, and our senior aviation expert Barbara Peterson. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "A Year in Travel 2018: Travelogue Podcast," 28 Dec. 2018 Several defense correspondents and aviation experts tweeted out some juicy details from briefings, particularly the Royal Aeronautical Society’s Tim Robinson. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "U.K. Introduces New Fighter Jet: The Tempest," 16 July 2018 Passenger traffic to San Antonio International Airport grew by more than 8 percent in May as the airfield adds more nonstop routes, aviation officials said Tuesday. Joshua Fechter, San Antonio Express-News, "Passenger traffic to San Antonio airport spiked more than 8 percent in May," 19 June 2018 Cuban aviation officials have acknowledged that the cause of the crash may not be known for months. Mimi Whitefield, miamiherald, "Black boxes in fiery Cuban airline crash being analyzed in Washington," 7 June 2018 Vance appeared on the program alongside a panel of aviation experts, including the former Australian Transport Safety Bureau official in charge of the investigating the crash, a veteran Boeing 777 pilot and instructor, an oceanographer and others. Jessie Yeung, CNN, "Australian investigators dismiss MH370 murder-suicide theory," 23 May 2018 The back-and-forth comes after a panel of aviation experts assembled by the Australian edition of ‘‘60 Minutes’’ posited a new theory about the final hours of the flight. Washington Post, BostonGlobe.com, "Investigators insist MH370 crash was an accident, not a mass murder-suicide by pilot," 22 May 2018 But aviation experts have said battery technology is the major hurdle to developing a commercial electric plane, making a hybrid aircraft a more viable option. Samantha Masunaga, latimes.com, "JetSuite strikes a deal for hybrid electric planes with start-up Zunum Aero," 21 May 2018 The Malaysian Airlines flight that went missing four years ago with more than 200 people aboard crashed into the Indian Ocean on purpose, aviation experts say. Aric Jenkins, Time, "Experts Say Missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 Was Intentionally Crashed," 15 May 2018

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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Statistics for aviation

Last Updated

15 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for aviation

The first known use of aviation was in 1865

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More Definitions for aviation



English Language Learners Definition of aviation

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


avi·​a·​tion | \ ˌā-vē-ˈā-shən \

Kids Definition of aviation

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

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Comments on aviation

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


a complex dispute or argument

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