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 … 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

Marine aviation has had serious readiness problems recently, with just 52 percent of the service’s MV-22 Ospreys ready for action. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Watch 43 Marine Corps Aircraft Take Off Together in an Elephant Walk," 14 June 2019 That show and its alternating-years companion, the Farnborough International Airshow near London, are usually upbeat celebrations of the latest and greatest in aviation technology. Washington Post, "Grounding of Boeing plane hovers over big air show in Paris," 14 June 2019 On the latest Capitol Watch podcast, Courant reporters Daniela Altimari and Stephen Singer discuss UTC’s role in the aerospace and aviation industry, and what the partial move to Boston says about Connecticut’s business climate. Michael Hamad, courant.com, "Capitol Watch Podcast: Here’s how Connecticut could be impacted by UTC merging with Raytheon and moving its headquarters to Boston," 13 June 2019 In 1927, aviation hero Charles Lindbergh was honored with a ticker-tape parade in New York City. BostonGlobe.com, "This day in history," 13 June 2019 These changes could substantially change the aviation industry, with airlines ordering fewer airplanes from manufacturers, airports seeing fewer daily flights and lower revenue from parking lots, and even airport hotels hosting fewer guests. Scott Winter, The Conversation, "Driverless cars are going to disrupt the airline industry," 10 June 2019 The majority of the money owed, about $381,000, is to its police department, with other costs going toward the fire department, streets and maintenance, public transit and aviation. Ryan Gillespie, orlandosentinel.com, "El Paso said it wasn’t paid when President Trump visited. Orlando will get its money up front.," 5 June 2019 The bad news is that, by those same figures, Alabama’s aviation industry has seen a steadily rising share of parts coming from Mexico. William Thornton | Wthornton@al.com, al.com, "How might tariffs affect Alabama’s business with Mexico?," 5 June 2019 On the ground, there will be a number of aircraft to tour or see up close as well as aviation exhibits on display. cleveland.com, "Cleveland National Air Show tickets now on sale," 3 June 2019

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

18 Jun 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 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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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).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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