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 That second flared, disappeared, leaving a little contrail of okayness. Aria Beth Sloss, Bon Appétit, 22 Mar. 2022 Each new settlement drags a contrail of roads and water lines and restrictions across routes that used to be open to Palestinians. Washington Post, 22 Nov. 2021 His photo, which quickly circulated on social media, depicts a flying wing aircraft trailing a contrail. David Axe, Forbes, 7 Sep. 2021 The shape and contrail match those in a photo that plane-spotter Rob Kolinsky snapped near Edwards Air Force Base in California in October. David Axe, Forbes, 7 Sep. 2021 The launch was visible to reporters on the ground, with the rocket streaking across the almost cloudless Texas sky with a blooming contrail. Jackie Wattles, CNN, 20 July 2021 If the weather is favorable, viewers in the mid-Atlantic may be able to see the rocket and its contrail, or the tail from the rocket launch. Nick Siano, USA TODAY, 15 June 2021 Better yet, anyone with binoculars may be able to see a small, v-shaped contrail from the rocket. Cailey Rizzo, Travel + Leisure, 2 Oct. 2020 Lit up all red, looked like a contrail fizzling out. Sarah Brookbank, The Enquirer, 30 Sep. 2020 See More

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.

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

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The first known use of contrail was in 1943

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Last Updated

31 Mar 2022

Cite this Entry

“Contrail.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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