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, 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 helicopter was patrolling Lake Worth at 1 a.m. Thursday because of an overnight power outage when Robledo struck with several flashes of light, according to court records. Anne Geggis, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Woman shone laser at pilots of sheriff's copter, officials say," 22 June 2018 After a 48-minute tea behind closed doors, Mr. Trump departed for Marine One, the presidential helicopter that had ferried him to remote spots on London’s outskirts during his day-and-a-half stay to avoid the protests. New York Times, "Trump Brings His Own Style to a Day of Damage Control in Britain," 13 July 2018 His departure from the U.S. ambassador's residence aboard the presidential helicopter was met by jeers from demonstrators banging pots and pans, and another group of protesters lined roads near the palace. Jonathan Lemire And Jill Colvin, chicagotribune.com, "Explosive Trump tabloid interview adds to chaos on 1st British visit," 13 July 2018 Deputies in the sheriff’s helicopter helped find them. Teri Figueroa, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Woman stabs alleged assailant, hides in brush with child until help comes," 13 July 2018 The helicopter eventually edged over a final gap between peaks where, the expanse of the Don Sheldon Amphitheatre appeared spread out before us. Carey Jones, Vogue, "On a Remote Glacier in the Middle of Alaska, I Learned the Magic of Disconnecting," 12 July 2018 The helicopter transported two El Dorado County Sheriff's Office search and rescue volunteers into the area. David Caraccio, sacbee, "Here's the CHP rescue of woman hit by large boulder south of Lake Tahoe," 10 July 2018 National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Peter Knudson confirmed Monday that the helicopter was transporting a patient from Hobart before its pilot made an emergency landing. Michelle L. Quinn, Post-Tribune, "Helicopter that crash-landed in Chicago over weekend originated from Hobart hospital," 9 July 2018 The helicopter took off from the Williamsburg-Jamestown Airport about a 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) from the crash site. Ben Finley, The Seattle Times, "Officials recover body of helicopter pilot from deadly crash," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 There was even the time the American was helicoptered off a mountain after a body-battering crash during downhill training at the 2006 Turin Olympics. USA TODAY, "Broken bones, torn ligaments, more: Lindsey Vonn's injuries," 29 Jan. 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 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).


one that holds something together

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