he·​li·​cop·​ter | \ ˈhe-lə-ˌkäp-tər How to pronounce helicopter (audio) , ˈhē- \

Definition of helicopter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an aircraft whose lift is derived from the aerodynamic forces acting on one or more powered rotors turning about substantially vertical axes


helicoptered; helicoptering; helicopters

Definition of helicopter (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to travel by helicopter

transitive verb

: to transport by helicopter

Synonyms for helicopter

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of helicopter in a Sentence

Noun took a helicopter tour to get a better sense of the grandeur of the Grand Canyon
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Officers in the helicopter can be heard giving updates to those pursuing the dark-colored BMW. Henri Hollis, ajc, 6 Jan. 2022 The helicopter hovered for 30 seconds at its planned altitude of 10 feet, and spent 39 seconds airborne. Julia Musto, Fox News, 2 Jan. 2022 The first point is one Meadows is quick to share with event organizers and prospective clients, as the company covers the cost for the helicopter up front. Erik Matuszewski, Forbes, 27 Dec. 2021 Police chief Zafisambatra Ravoavy told AFP that Gelle managed to survive by using a seat from the helicopter as a floatation device. Abigail Adams, PEOPLE.com, 22 Dec. 2021 Gelle was on the helicopter to survey the site of a shipwreck earlier Monday. Washington Post, 22 Dec. 2021 One southbound lane was closed for the helicopter as of 4:18 p.m., according to the Arizona Department of Transportation. Kaila White, The Arizona Republic, 22 Dec. 2021 This year the event was largely a return to form with one minor exception — the helicopter that had ferried in the couple in years past was replaced by a firetruck. Jesse Wright, chicagotribune.com, 21 Dec. 2021 The highway remained closed for a short time after the helicopter was ordered, but all lanes have since reopened, State Police wrote in a tweet. Katie Redefer, BostonGlobe.com, 21 Dec. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Helicopter in for the game, then helicopter out and everyone loves you. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, 27 Nov. 2021 Assuming the lava sticks around for a bit and doesn’t retreat back underground, visitation to the National Park will surely increase, as will helicopter fly-over tours. Will Mcgough, Forbes, 30 Sep. 2021 The other interesting thing that happened last year was this perfect storm of editors kind of waking up to needing diverse voices, but also the pandemic, which sort of limited people's ability to helicopter into destinations and write about them. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, 4 Aug. 2021 Zeta breached the levees protecting Grand Isle in three places and also deposited a shrimp boat on La. 1 heading toward the island, blocking access and forcing first responders to helicopter in to assess damage. Bryn Stole, NOLA.com, 29 Oct. 2020 Rhodes, who was running for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate, helicoptered to Kent to survey the scene. Laura Johnston, cleveland, 3 May 2020 In the fun clip, after Craig’s character picks up the Queen from Buckingham Palace, stunt actors playing them helicoptered across London and parachuted into the venue. Stephanie Petit, PEOPLE.com, 20 June 2019 The couple was helicoptered to safety and treated for exposure. Steve Rubenstein, SFChronicle.com, 26 Feb. 2020 One of hundreds of families to seek last-resort refuge in the Louisiana Superdome, Miller and his family were helicoptered to Texas, eventually settling in Frisco to rebuild their lives. David Buice, Dallas News, 2 July 2019

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


1887, in the meaning defined above


1952, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for helicopter


French hélicoptère, from Greek heliko- + pteron wing — more at feather

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Time Traveler for helicopter

Time Traveler

The first known use of helicopter was in 1887

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Dictionary Entries Near helicopter



helicopter parent

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Statistics for helicopter

Last Updated

11 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Helicopter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/helicopter. Accessed 19 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for helicopter



English Language Learners Definition of helicopter

: an aircraft that can stay in the air without moving forward and that has metal blades that turn around on its top


he·​li·​cop·​ter | \ ˈhe-lə-ˌkäp-tər How to pronounce helicopter (audio) , ˈhē- \

Kids Definition of helicopter

: an aircraft supported in the air by horizontal propellers

More from Merriam-Webster on helicopter

Nglish: Translation of helicopter for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of helicopter for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about helicopter


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