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di·​ri·​gi·​ble ˈdir-ə-jə-bəl How to pronounce dirigible (audio) də-ˈri-jə- How to pronounce dirigible (audio)
: capable of being steered


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Examples of dirigible in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Arctic Disaster Umberto Nobile’s voyage to the North Pole in 1928 in the dirigible Italia went well at first. Norman Vanamee, Town & Country, 24 June 2023 The first takes place on a dirigible some 40,000-plus feet in the air. Kaely Monahan, The Arizona Republic, 11 Aug. 2023 On the way back, however, the dirigible had a mechanical problems and crashed onto the sea ice. Norman Vanamee, Town & Country, 24 June 2023 If Walsh and Piccard’s bathyscaphe was a dirigible, the sleek experimental vehicle being built for Welsh is a fighter jet. Eliza Strickland, IEEE Spectrum, 29 Feb. 2012 In August 1929, Angelenos swarmed the site to gawk at the Graf Zeppelin dirigible stopping by on its world tour. Patt Morrison, Los Angeles Times, 13 June 2023 The sky is punctuated by a hot-air balloon, a dirigible and a zooming biplane. Washington Post, 8 June 2023 Megan Garber on the death of the dirigible. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 23 June 2012 There is an urban legend that the building's tower and orb were once used as a port for a dirigible. Janelle James, Detroit Free Press, 1 June 2021
Zeppelins, dirigibles, blimps, and other forms have delivered slow, steady travel over oceans and other areas of the Earth that had been inaccessible to most short-range aircraft. Michael Verdon, Robb Report, 6 Feb. 2024 Models and photos of dirigibles abound in the collection. Linda Zavoral, The Mercury News, 23 Jan. 2024 Seventeen stories tall, as wide as a football field and over 1,000 feet long, the wooden structures were built by the Navy in World War II to house dirigibles assigned to patrol the Pacific Coast. Gustavo Arellano, Los Angeles Times, 15 Nov. 2023 By World War I, all the major combatant countries utilized lighter-than-air vessels, including balloons, blimps and dirigibles. David Reamer | Alaska History, Anchorage Daily News, 20 Feb. 2023 The clip, built entirely from unseen footage from the original shoot, opens with an alternate view of the singers inside a futuristic dirigible with the song’s title splashed in neon on the side. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, 13 Oct. 2022 Wingfoot Express dirigible took a joyride from Grant Park over the Loop, with catastrophic effects. Kori Rumore, Chicago Tribune, 18 Aug. 2022 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, 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, 17 Nov. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dirigible.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Latin dirigere


dirigible (balloon)

First Known Use


1581, in the meaning defined above


1885, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of dirigible was in 1581

Dictionary Entries Near dirigible

Cite this Entry

“Dirigible.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dirigible. Accessed 20 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 adjective
: capable of being steered


2 of 2 noun

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