con·trail | \ˈkän-ˌtrāl \

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

Leaving a stunning contrail in the predawn sky, the launch was a significant one for SpaceX, the California space company founded by Elon Musk in 2002. Christian Davenport,, "SpaceX sends AI robot named CIMON to the International Space Station," 29 June 2018 The contrail will be brief but brilliant, featuring colors ranging from bright white to aqua to a bit of pink. Gary Robbins,, "Launch of Mars spacecraft should be visible from San Diego early Saturday," 4 May 2018 The rocket is barely a speck in the sky now, with an arcing contrail and still-bright engine exhaust. Popular Mechanics, "55 Things to Do Before the World Ends," 19 Apr. 2018 SpaceX is scheduled to launch a set of Iridium satellites from Vandenberg Air Force Base early Friday and the contrail might be visible from San Diego County. Gary Robbins,, "Rocket launch might be visible from San Diego County at 7:13 a.m. Friday," 29 Mar. 2018 The sky is clogged with contrails, the straight lines of the bombers, the circles and spirals of the fighters looping around them. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Read an excerpt from Luna author Ian McDonald’s heartbreaking new time-travel romance," 31 Mar. 2018 That long, fading contrail line in the sky above Central California can mean only one thing: a rocket launch. Joseph Serna,, "Latest Falcon 9 rocket launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base lights up social media," 30 Mar. 2018 The company says the rocket will leave the pad a few seconds before 7:13 a.m. People in San Diego County should look to the west-northwest for the contrail, which could shine in the morning sunlight. Gary Robbins,, "Rocket launch might be visible from San Diego County at 7:13 a.m. Friday," 29 Mar. 2018 Part 6: Somewhere between India and Oregon, the life-or-death melodrama surrounding Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh's failing health dissipated like a contrail against a summer sky. Grant Butler,, "Read The Oregonian's original 20-part investigative series on Rajneeshees," 20 Mar. 2018

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

The first known use of contrail was in 1943

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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

See words that rhyme with contrail Encyclopedia article about contrail

Comments on contrail

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to reject or criticize sharply

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