co·​pi·​lot | \ ˈkō-ˌpī-lət How to pronounce copilot (audio) \

Definition of copilot

: a qualified pilot who assists or relieves the pilot but is not in command

Examples of copilot in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In an emergency, the US Air procedures call for the copilot to take the controls while the captain makes the decisions, free from the mechanical burden of flying the plane—this is called Pilot Monitoring, or PM, in aviation parlance. Allen St. John, Popular Mechanics, "What Went Right: Revisiting Captain "Sully" Sullenberger and the Miracle on the Hudson," 15 Jan. 2019 While much credit has rightfully gone to Sullenberger, his copilot Jeffrey Skiles deserves to be commended as well. Allen St. John, Popular Mechanics, "What Went Right: Revisiting Captain "Sully" Sullenberger and the Miracle on the Hudson," 15 Jan. 2019 On that flight, from Bali to Jakarta, the pilot’s and copilot’s sensors disagreed. Andi Jatmiko, The Seattle Times, "Boeing jet crashed in Indonesia after key sensor replaced," 7 Nov. 2018 In 1936 Louise Thaden and her copilot, Blanche Noyes, flying from New York to L.A., won the Bendix Trophy, beating the men and making headlines across the country. Elizabeth Winkler, WSJ, "‘Fly Girls’ Review: Freedom of the Air," 9 Aug. 2018 To prevent blacking out, Shults and her copilot would have donned full-face masks supplied by a pressurized oxygen tank. Jeff Wise, Popular Mechanics, "What Actually Happens When a Plane Loses an Engine," 18 Apr. 2018 The Pasadena native was a helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War and was awarded the Purple Heart for suffering severe injuries after he and his copilot were shot by enemy ground fire. Jose R. Gonzalez, Houston Chronicle, "Memorial to be held for former Pasadena police chief," 25 Jan. 2018 Fifty-five passengers, one captain, one copilot and one stewardess were onboard. Ann Zaniewski, Detroit Free Press, "What happened to Northwest Flight 2501? Shipwreck hunters resume search," 24 May 2018 Stan flew 25 missions in WW2 as copilot of a B-24 in 1945 as part of the 15th Airforce 454th Bomber Group., "Deaths in South Florida: 6/22," 22 June 2018

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

1927, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near copilot






coping saw


Statistics for copilot

Last Updated

11 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for copilot

The first known use of copilot was in 1927

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More Definitions for copilot



English Language Learners Definition of copilot

: a pilot who helps the main pilot operate an airplane, helicopter, etc.


co·​pi·​lot | \ ˈkō-ˌpī-lət How to pronounce copilot (audio) \

Kids Definition of copilot

: a person who assists in flying an airplane

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More from Merriam-Webster on copilot

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with copilot

Spanish Central: Translation of copilot

Nglish: Translation of copilot for Spanish Speakers

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