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he·​li·​cop·​ter ˈhe-lə-ˌkäp-tər How to pronounce helicopter (audio)
: an aircraft whose lift is derived from the aerodynamic forces acting on one or more powered rotors turning about substantially vertical axes


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helicoptered; helicoptering; helicopters

intransitive verb

: to travel by helicopter

transitive verb

: to transport by helicopter

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
In response to the crisis, the State Department warned Americans to leave and helped hundreds to evacuate via helicopters to the neighboring Dominican Republic and a charter plane from Cap-Haïtien. Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald, 18 Apr. 2024 Finally, on March 25, the Bureau of Consular Affairs told Alex that his father was on a list of people to board a helicopter at the U.S. Embassy the next morning at 7 a.m. Mark Guarino, ABC News, 17 Apr. 2024 Video shared on the California Highway Patrol Golden Gate Division Air Operations’ Facebook page shows the helicopter flying over the bridge, then turning around to fly over the shore toward the man’s location. Brooke Baitinger, Sacramento Bee, 17 Apr. 2024 Tanks and soldiers flood the District, helicopters loom above the low streetscape. Alan Zilberman, Washington Post, 17 Apr. 2024 The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) sent a rescue helicopter to the scene, where the department said the pilot and his dog had already swum safely to land. Stephen Sorace, Fox News, 16 Apr. 2024 Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman is escorted to a helicopter in handcuffs by Mexican navy marines at a navy hanger. Cara Tabachnick, CBS News, 16 Apr. 2024 Navy special forces from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps used a helicopter to board and seize a container ship, IRNA news reported, adding that the MSC Aries was being transferred to Iranian territorial waters. Henry Austin, NBC News, 13 Apr. 2024 Some 15 million election workers will be deployed, traveling via road, boat, camel, train and helicopter to reach every Indian voter. Helen Regan, CNN, 12 Apr. 2024
There are helicopter parents and then there are parents who helicopter. Derek Blasberg, WSJ, 25 Jan. 2023 If all goes well, recovery teams will helicopter it to a portable clean room to remove its heat shield and back shell and then fly it to a specially prepared facility at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. Clara Moskowitz, Scientific American, 15 June 2023 Gerhardt said the agency plans to helicopter pieces of the wreckage to a secure facility in Delaware in the coming days. Pete Muntean, CNN, 6 June 2023 Botany crews travel to the island’s rough shores by boat or helicopter to remove weeds. Tim Lydon, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 Apr. 2023 Early Monday evening, Biden headed to San Diego International Airport to board Marine One to helicopter him to a fundraiser in Rancho Santa Fe. Gary Robbins, San Diego Union-Tribune, 13 Mar. 2023 There are helicopter parents and then there are parents who helicopter. Derek Blasberg, WSJ, 25 Jan. 2023 For two seasons he’s been able to helicopter to Clippers practices from his home near San Diego. Dallas News, 26 July 2021 In fact, the scientists monitoring the eruption were able to helicopter in a save a couple FutureVolc sulfur dioxide monitoring instruments that were trapped by the advancing lava earlier in the eruption. Erik Klemetti, Discover Magazine, 20 Jan. 2015

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

Word History



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

First Known Use


1887, in the meaning defined above


1952, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of helicopter was in 1887

Dictionary Entries Near helicopter

Cite this Entry

“Helicopter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/helicopter. Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: an aircraft that is supported in the air by propellers revolving on a vertical axis

More from Merriam-Webster on helicopter

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