avi·​a·​tor | \ ˈā-vē-ˌā-tər How to pronounce aviator (audio) , ˈa- How to pronounce aviator (audio) \
plural aviators

Definition of aviator

1 : the operator or pilot of an aircraft and especially an airplane
2 aviators : aviator glasses The heat had begun to settle in, and as she hit the sidewalk, she slipped on her new sunglasses, a trendy pair of aviators.— Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for aviator


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of aviator in a Sentence

the solo flight from New York to Paris by the aviator Charles Lindbergh captured the imagination of people around the world
Recent Examples on the Web The project, declassified in 2013, helped train about 300 Soviet aviators in 1944 and 1945. Washington Post, "NC to mark 75th anniversary of deaths in secret WWII project," 10 Jan. 2020 On her engagement night, Ka’oir rocked a bright red fur that matched her hair, as well as oversized aviator-style glasses. Brooklyn White, Essence, "A Celebration Of Keyshia Ka'oir's Best Looks," 6 Jan. 2020 In January 1943, the sub’s crew also rescued six downed U.S. aviators from Munda in the Solomon Islands, for which her commanding officer was awarded the Navy Cross. Fox News, "WWII US submarine wreck discovered 75 years after it sank," 11 Nov. 2019 Released in 2004, the late Philip Roth’s novel The Plot Against America imagines an alternate history where aviator-hero and xenophobic populist Charles Lindbergh became president in 1940 and turned the United States toward fascism. Derek Lawrence, EW.com, "See Winona Ryder, John Turturro in first look at David Simon's The Plot Against America," 19 Dec. 2019 Kathryn Thomas, a former Navy aviator who founded the nonprofit Yoga 4 Change, led the women through deep inhales and exhales, and then the fluid series of poses known as the sun salutation. Fran Smith, National Geographic, "Why our fast-paced society loves yoga," 17 Dec. 2019 And Navy investigators have been traveling to bases such as Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where squadrons of F/A-18 Super Hornets are based, to talk to aviators. Ben Finley, San Diego Union-Tribune, "‘What is that, man?’ Navy confirms videos of flying objects," 20 Sep. 2019 The name Amelia is partly a tribute to Amelia Earhart, the legendary pioneering aviator. Rachael Bunyan, Time, "The True Story Behind The Aeronauts," 9 Dec. 2019 The all-black Tuskegee aviators broke racial barriers with their courage and aviation skills. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Tuskegee Airmen’s legacy to soar on new Air Force jet," 28 Sep. 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of aviator

1868, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about aviator

Time Traveler for aviator

Time Traveler

The first known use of aviator was in 1868

See more words from the same year

Statistics for aviator

Last Updated

16 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Aviator.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aviator. Accessed 19 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for aviator


avi·​a·​tor | \ ˈā-vē-ˌā-tər How to pronounce aviator (audio) \

Kids Definition of aviator

: the pilot of an aircraft

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on aviator

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for aviator

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with aviator

Spanish Central: Translation of aviator

Nglish: Translation of aviator for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of aviator for Arabic Speakers

Comments on aviator

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


to insert between existing elements

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Eponym Quiz

  • rubens painting
  • Which is the best synonym of bowdlerize?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!