he·​li·​cop·​ter | \ˈhe-lə-ˌkäp-tər, 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

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Synonyms for helicopter

Synonyms: Noun

chopper, copter, eggbeater, helo, whirlybird

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Examples of helicopter in a Sentence


took a helicopter tour to get a better sense of the grandeur of the Grand Canyon

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In the opening scene, much of which Mr. Müller shot from a helicopter, Mr. Stanton emerges from the desert: a solitary figure walking purposefully, wearing a rumpled gray pinstripe suit, knotted tan tie and red ball cap. Richard Sandomir, New York Times, "Robby Müller, Inventive Cinematographer, Is Dead at 78," 10 July 2018 Ambulances and a helicopter were seen leaving the cave earlier in the day. Emily Stewart, Vox, "The Thai boys cave rescue is underway: what we know so far," 8 July 2018 At the training center, he was renamed Victor in honor of a Marine helicopter that crashed in 2015 in the Himalayas while on an earthquake relief mission. Karen Pearlman, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Santee firefighter's dog Victor goes from rescued to rescuer," 5 July 2018 After he was shot in Skowhegan, Charlie was flown by a LifeFlight helicopter to Bangor, according to the Daily News. Lisa Gutierrez, kansascity, "Teen shot in the head is given last rites. Then he sat up and said hello, his mom says," 5 July 2018 At SuperShe, women can fly in on a private helicopter from Helsinki, skinny-dip in the Baltic Sea and dine off a low-cal menu. The Economist, "Women-only clubs get a makeover," 28 June 2018 At least 1,439 are fighting the blaze, using 14 bulldozers and four helicopters to expand containment. Molly Sullivan, sacbee, "Evacuations still in effect as crews fight to contain Pawnee Fire in Lake County," 26 June 2018 Gifts from fans Among the items thrown on stage during her set were a rainbow flag and a bra -- both of which Kiyoko whipped around her head like a helicopter. Patrick Crowley, Billboard, "5 Things That Gave Us the Feels at Hayley Kiyoko's Final Stop on Her Expectations Tour," 19 June 2018 The call prompted eight police units and a helicopter to arrive at the scene. Chloe Melas, CNN, "Stan Lee granted restraining order after elder abuse claims," 14 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Some survivors and the bodies of victims were helicoptered out. John Bacon, USA TODAY, "Death toll rises to 51 in Peruvian bus crash on 'Devil's Curve'," 2 Jan. 2018 Emergency rescuers helicoptered Cargo to a hospital, and doctors inserted a stent into his coronary artery. Matt Maynard, Outside Online, "Setting a Speed Record from Patagonia to Alaska," 25 June 2018 If that happens, about 1,000 people would have to be helicoptered to safety, reports CBS News' Mark Strassmann. CBS News, "Hawaii volcano's blue flames trigger fears of explosions," 24 May 2018 Wilson, comatose, was helicoptered to a nearby hospital. Will Higgins, Indianapolis Star, "Indy 500 drivers don't like to talk about organ donation, but it's becoming their cause," 24 May 2018 Little Louis has been busy meeting his grandmother the Queen who helicoptered to Kensington Palace last week, while Prince Charles has also been to see his new grandson. Katie Nicholl, Vanities, "Princess Charlotte Kisses Prince Louis In New Photographs by Kate Middleton," 5 May 2018 The lumber shattered just above his hands, and the barrel helicoptered into the high, protective netting behind home plate on the first base side. Ben Walker, baltimoresun.com, "After hitting early broken-bat homer, Harper sparks 6-run 8th with single as Nats top Mets, 8-6," 17 Apr. 2018 The lumber split just above his hands, and the barrel helicoptered into the high, protective netting behind home plate on the first base side. Ben Walker, chicagotribune.com, "Bryce Harper hits broken-bat home run: 'Barreled it pretty good. It just broke and kept going'," 17 Apr. 2018 Good Samaritans applied tourniquets to the victim's leg, who was later helicoptered to North Hawaii Community Hospital. CBS News, "Shark attacks paddleboarder on Hawaii's Big Island," 2 Apr. 2018

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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Statistics for helicopter

Last Updated

9 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for helicopter

The first known use of helicopter was in 1887

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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, ˈhē-\

Kids Definition of helicopter

: an aircraft supported in the air by horizontal propellers

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Comments on helicopter

What made you want to look up helicopter? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a private place of worship

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