cock·​pit | \ ˈkäk-ˌpit How to pronounce cockpit (audio) \

Definition of cockpit

1a : a pit or enclosure for cockfights
b : a place noted for especially bloody, violent, or long-continued conflict
2 obsolete : the pit of a theater
3 : a compartment in a sailing warship used as quarters for junior officers and for treatment of the wounded in an engagement
4 : a space or compartment in a usually small vehicle (such as a boat, airplane, or automobile) from which it is steered, piloted, or driven — see airplane illustration

Examples of cockpit in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Getting into the cockpit After joining the X-15 research program, Engle flew his first free flight in October 1963. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "What it was like to fly the baddest airplane the world has ever known," 16 Sep. 2019 With the Lion Air tragedy, a faulty sensor on the plane's fuselage fed inaccurate data into the cockpit, signaling the plane's nose was too high and triggering the MCAS system. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "FAA 'Tentatively' Approves Software Update For The Grounded Boeing 737 Max 8," 25 Mar. 2019 The system, which sits beneath the cockpit, is responsible for monitoring an aircraft’s speed, pitch and other flight data. Rebecca Tan, Anchorage Daily News, "Airline mechanic accused of sabotaging jet navigation system was previously fired by Alaska Airlines for maintenance mistakes," 7 Sep. 2019 Inside the cockpit, six people operate the spacecraft during an interactive experience that will get a little bumpy. Dallas News, "Disney World's Star Wars land inspires rental houses decked out for a galaxy far, far away," 20 Aug. 2019 That meant using everything from an old video recorder to an actual spaceship set with a cockpit, control panels, and even a ping pong room. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Joji Is Ready for Liftoff," 17 June 2019 Koscher also points to the CIS/MS access to the Electronic Flight Bag, full of documents and navigation materials a plane's pilot might refer to via a tablet in the cockpit. Andy Greenberg, WIRED, "A Boeing Code Leak Exposes Security Flaws Deep in a 787's Guts," 7 Aug. 2019 The night the aircraft went missing, control was seized in the cockpit during a 20 minute period between 1:01 a.m. and 1:21 a.m. and radar records show the autopilot was probably switched off, according to Langewiesche. Fox News, "MH370 had 'mysterious' 200-pound load added to flight list after takeoff: report," 18 July 2019 Virgin Atlantic flight 138 landed at around 8:55 p.m. after the pilot discovered a fire and smoke in the cockpit, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement. Sofia Saric,, "Fire onboard Virgin Atlantic flight forces emergency landing in Boston," 5 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cockpit.' 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 cockpit

1585, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cockpit

Statistics for cockpit

Last Updated

14 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cockpit

The first known use of cockpit was in 1585

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for cockpit



English Language Learners Definition of cockpit

: the area in a boat, airplane, etc., where the pilot or driver sits


cock·​pit | \ ˈkäk-ˌpit How to pronounce cockpit (audio) \

Kids Definition of cockpit

1 : an open space in the deck from which a small boat (as a yacht) is steered
2 : a space in an airplane for the pilot

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on cockpit

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cockpit

Spanish Central: Translation of cockpit

Nglish: Translation of cockpit for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about cockpit

Comments on cockpit

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


to wander slowly or to speak indistinctly

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

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!