contrail

noun
con·​trail | \ ˈkän-ˌtrāl How to pronounce contrail (audio) \

Definition of contrail

: streaks of condensed water vapor created in the air by an airplane or rocket at high altitudes

Examples of contrail in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web When that puff of blue smoke eventually becomes a steady stream — like a contrail from an F16 — that’ll be your cue that the end is nigh for the Ion, Jesse. San Diego Union-Tribune, "This Saturn with an “oil incident” might be up in smoke," 13 Oct. 2019 Military aircraft flew overhead, leaving colorful contrails in their wake, while balloons were released in a final flourish. Washington Post, "AP PHOTOS: China marks National Day with military might," 1 Oct. 2019 To produce it, Frank, who died this week, at the age of ninety-four, spent two years scouring the country in a used car, courtesy of a Guggenheim grant, a contrail of dust his most constant companion. Jelani Cobb, The New Yorker, "How Robert Frank’s Photographs Helped Define America," 11 Sep. 2019 When that puff of blue smoke eventually becomes a steady stream — like a contrail from an F16 —that’ll be your cue that the end is nigh for the Ion, Jesse. courant.com, "Car Talk: Don’t spin out this summer," 1 Sep. 2019 Science + Tech = MACH Airplane contrails add to climate change, and the problem is about to get worse. Petra Cahill, NBC News, "Garlic festival shooting, Dan Coats steps down & British Vogue's royal editor: The Morning Rundown," 29 July 2019 Airplane traffic, of course, plays a key role in the impact of contrails. NBC News, "Do airplane contrails add to climate change? Yes, and the problem is about to get worse.," 28 July 2019 One issue is that just 10 percent of flights create contrails. NBC News, "Do airplane contrails add to climate change? Yes, and the problem is about to get worse.," 28 July 2019 Colorado pitchers have a 6.57 ERA there, and home runs are leaving contrails in the mile-high sky. Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post, "Gray’s anatomy: One game at Coors Field through the eyes of the Rockies’ right-hander," 20 July 2019

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

1943, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for contrail

condensation trail

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Time Traveler for contrail

Time Traveler

The first known use of contrail was in 1943

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Statistics for contrail

Last Updated

20 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Contrail.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/contrail. Accessed 11 December 2019.

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More Definitions for contrail

contrail

noun
How to pronounce contrail (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of contrail

: a stream of water or ice particles created in the sky by an airplane or rocket

More from Merriam-Webster on contrail

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with contrail

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about contrail

Comments on contrail

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