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

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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

The hedge will also block the view of the Kensington Palace helicopter pad on Perks Field. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Prince William and Kate Middleton Plant a 950-Foot Hedge at Kensington Palace to Protect Their Privacy," 7 Apr. 2019 Not all examples of helicopter parenting result in jail time, but its detrimental impacts are long-lasting. Zach Schermele, Teen Vogue, "Helicopter Parenting Is Usually More Subtle Than Paying for Kids to Get Into School," 22 Mar. 2019 Perry revealed last month that Bloom proposed in a luxe helicopter ride followed by a party with their friends and family. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Katy Perry Called Fiancé Orlando Bloom Her 'Boyfriend'—and People Can't Stop Laughing," 19 Mar. 2019 Two Army mainstays scheduled for cuts—the Bradley fighting vehicle, dating to the 1980s, and the CH-47 Chinook helicopter, first introduced in 1962—are known to generations of service members. Gordon Lubold, WSJ, "Army Plans to Cut Back on Legacy Gear in a Push for New Tech," 12 Mar. 2019 The award comes less than a week after the Air Force awarded a Boeing-Leonardo bid the win for the Air Force's replacement of its UH-1 nuclear security helicopters. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Boeing/Saab joint T-X design wins Air Force’s jet trainer competition," 28 Sep. 2018 When their helicopter left the former, the pandemonium almost drowned out the rotor blades. Alexander Smith /, NBC News, "Trump in Britain: President faces dozens of protests across U.K.," 13 July 2018 Linda’s father, Richard O’Keefe, helped police and volunteers who scoured the community by helicopter, on foot and by car all night looking for his daughter. Hannah Fry, latimes.com, "Newport Beach police release DNA profile of possible suspect in girl’s 1973 slaying," 8 July 2018 Hegar is a former Air Force combat search and rescue pilot who helped rescue passengers after her helicopter was shot down by the Taliban in 2009. Terence Burlij, CNN, "CNN House Key Races: 4 races move toward Democrats, 3 toward Republicans," 12 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Before Jack can really rip into him, Nicky is helicoptered away from the scene, leaving the Mystery Woman completely inconsolable. Candice Frederick, Harper's BAZAAR, "This Is Us Reveals the Truth About Nicky," 23 Jan. 2019 Local hotels, including the Condé Nast Traveler Readers 'Choice Award favorite Post Ranch Inn, had begun helicoptering guests in to minimize the impact the closure had on business. Erin Florio, Condé Nast Traveler, "California's Highway One to Fully Reopen Today," 18 July 2018 The harbor unit has responded to everything from speed demons cruising the high seas to drunken ferry passengers to helicopter crashes. Zolan Kanno-youngs, WSJ, "Avast, Ye Criminals! NYPD Harbor Unit Has Increased Role as Waterways Boom," 1 Oct. 2018 However, in the episode’s final moments, the show pulled the punch — and showed Grimes being rescued and helicoptered off to destinations unknown. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "The Walking Dead has a Rick Grimes movie trilogy on the way," 5 Nov. 2018 In a common scenario, mountain guides exploit inexperienced trekkers by pressuring them to be helicoptered back to Kathmandu at the first minor signs of illness. Kai Schultz, The Seattle Times, "Near Everest’s slopes, a helicopter rescue fraud preys on trekkers," 4 Sep. 2018 After the stroke was detected, we were quickly helicoptered to the University of California San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital via emergency medical air transport. Kerry Cromwell, Good Housekeeping, "My Little Boy Was Just 7 Years Old When He Had a Catastrophic Stroke," 26 July 2018 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

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

13 Apr 2019

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 How to pronounce helicopter (audio) , 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).


to move or proceed with twists and turns

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