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 man was then loaded onto a stretcher and lifted into the helicopter. BostonGlobe.com, "A rock climber was airlifted from a ledge on a cliff face after he fell 50 feet and sustained life-threatening injuries, resulting in a harrowing rescue mission Sunday morning in the White Mountains, officials said.," 17 Sep. 2019 The engineers left the helicopter first, hauling explosives. New York Times, "A Marine Looks Back at His Battles in Afghanistan," 16 Sep. 2019 As the helicopter provided a bird's-eye view of the final mile of the race, the shot panned above the roof of an apartment building with the cannabis plants. Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY, "Spanish police seize 40 cannabis plants thanks to helicopter filming Vuelta a España cycling race," 4 Sep. 2019 The tail section of the helicopter broke off, and its rotors appeared mangled. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Pilot suffers minor injuries in news helicopter crash at Gillespie Field," 27 Aug. 2019 The helicopter was registered in Germany, the police spokesman reportedly said, adding that the investigation was ongoing. Fox News, "Sightseeing helicopter, small plane crash in midair over Spanish island of Mallorca; 7 dead," 26 Aug. 2019 McCain turned the helicopter to safety, taking cover behind a ridge line. Dan Lamothe, Anchorage Daily News, "How a McCain came home from war to mourn his famous father," 23 Aug. 2019 Footage taken by the KXAS-TV (NBC5) helicopter showed a white sedan with several bullet holes in the driver's side window stopped in an apartment complex parking lot. Dallas News, "2 injured in shooting that prompted lockout at Euless elementary school, police say," 20 Aug. 2019 The helicopter left Holman Field in St. Paul about 5 p.m. and the rescue team spotted the pair on a remote island on Leech Lake about 7 p.m. The pair were screaming for help. Kristi Belcamino, Twin Cities, "St. Paul Fire’s rescue team finds boaters lost on remote island in Leech Lake," 19 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Parents are hovering and helicoptering and snowplowing in ways that are so toxic for their children. Amy Haneline, USA TODAY, "'Girls Who Code' founder Reshma Saujani is a boy mom fighting gender norms. 'Let them fail'," 14 June 2019 Nearly half a million concertgoers left the roads so clogged, musicians had to be helicoptered in. Lauren Daley, BostonGlobe.com, "Director of new Woodstock documentary returns to a moment of genuine peace and love," 1 Aug. 2019 Once the Boars were helicoptered to Chiang Rai to recover from their injuries, one foreign news agency reportedly offered their hospital a large donation in exchange for access to them. Max Marshall, SI.com, "Mining the Miracle," 26 June 2019 Both Milling and Nanook were helicoptered out and the husky was later returned to its owner in Girdwood. Matt Tunseth, Anchorage Daily News, "Troopers rescue hiker and dog from Crow Pass Trail," 18 June 2019 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

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

12 Oct 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

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