di·​ri·​gi·​ble | \ ˈdir-ə-jə-bəl How to pronounce dirigible (audio) , də-ˈri-jə- How to pronounce dirigible (audio) \

Definition of dirigible

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: capable of being steered



Definition of dirigible (Entry 2 of 2)

Examples of dirigible in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The idea that Trump could try to delegitimize votes that need to be counted after Election Night by prematurely declaring himself the official winner wafted across the nation Sunday like a dirigible-sized trial balloon. Bill Carter For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "The media has combatted dangerous claims for four years. Tuesday will be the ultimate test," 2 Nov. 2020 The idea of an enormous plane or dirigible carrying smaller planes is also undeniably cool. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "That Time Boeing Wanted to Turn the 747 Jumbo Jet Into an Aircraft Carrier," 8 Sep. 2020 Similar slight improvements are the most that even its advocates are able to prophesy for the dirigible. Victor Lougheed, Popular Mechanics, "The Fallacy of the Dirigible," 13 Aug. 2020 Improved fabrics have enabled the dirigible to stay in the air the present maximum of 36 hours, without descending for gas. Victor Lougheed, Popular Mechanics, "The Fallacy of the Dirigible," 13 Aug. 2020 On May 6, 1937, the world’s largest dirigible airship went up in towering flames in New Jersey. Donovan Webster, Smithsonian, "What Really Felled the Hindenburg?," 4 May 2017 On May 6, 1937, the world’s largest dirigible airship went up in towering flames in New Jersey. Donovan Webster, Smithsonian, "What Really Felled the Hindenburg?," 4 May 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But now that the transportation sector is looking for serious ways to cut carbon emissions, dirigibles are attempting to make a comeback. Starre Vartan, Popular Mechanics, "Airships Haven’t Been Able to Get Back Up Off the Ground—Until Now," 31 Mar. 2020 Three days later, the Hindenburg’s 7 million cubic feet of hydrogen erupted into a firestorm as the dirigible attempted to dock at Naval Air Station Lakehurst in New Jersey on the evening of May 6, 1937. Eric Larsen, USA TODAY, "Last survivor of Hindenburg crash dies at age 90," 17 Nov. 2019 Gadgets abound but her main secret weapon is the dirigible that, perpetually hovering in the clouds, can be used for surveillance and the application of knockout drugs, as well as facilitating various abductions, thefts and escapes. New York Times, "This 1915 Silent Film Was the ‘Joker’ of Its Day," 23 Oct. 2019 City’s history with helium Beginning in the 1920s, the U.S. government hoarded helium for military purposes — specifically, to keep its balloons and dirigibles afloat. Laura Garcia, ExpressNews.com, "Global helium market faces more uncertainty as government prepares to sell its stockpile stored in Texas," 21 June 2019 On a November evening last year, Jennifer Doudna put on a stylish black evening gown and headed to Hangar One, a building at NASA’s Ames Research Center that was constructed in 1932 to house dirigibles. Quanta Magazine, "Breakthrough DNA Editor Born of Bacteria," 6 Feb. 2015 Others include the Wright Brothers’ first flight in 1903 and the deadly crash of the German dirigible Hindenburg in New Jersey in 1937. Washington Post, "Library of Congress brings America to life in LA photo show," 21 Apr. 2018 Some sources reported dirigibles powered by steam engines. Greg Eghigian, Smithsonian, "How UFO Reports Change With the Technology of the Times," 2 Feb. 2018 Americans also loved scenes from abroad, peering excitedly at Egyptian camels, Central American women pounding tortilla flour, dirigibles in flight, exploding volcanoes. Clive Thompson, Smithsonian, "Stereographs Were the Original Virtual Reality," 30 Sep. 2017

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


1581, in the meaning defined above


1885, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for dirigible


Latin dirigere


dirigible (balloon)

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Time Traveler for dirigible

Time Traveler

The first known use of dirigible was in 1581

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Statistics for dirigible

Last Updated

7 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dirigible.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dirigible. Accessed 24 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for dirigible


di·​ri·​gi·​ble | \ ˈdir-ə-jə-bəl How to pronounce dirigible (audio) , də-ˈri-jə- \

Kids Definition of dirigible

More from Merriam-Webster on dirigible

Nglish: Translation of dirigible for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dirigible

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