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

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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: Noun Aviation authorities restrict drone flights to avoid conflicts with planes and helicopters, to protect privacy, and to avoid creating a nuisance. Wired, "The First Hurricane Relief Drone Was Ready to Fly—Then Dorian Hit," 17 Sep. 2019 Authorities have searched for the girl on foot and via helicopter. Steve Helling, PEOPLE.com, "Authorities Searching for New Jersey 5-Year-Old Who Vanished From Playground," 17 Sep. 2019 The worker fell at a site near Willie Circle in Tolland and was transported by LifeStar helicopter to a nearby hospital, Tolland fire officials said. Zach Murdock, courant.com, "Tolland construction worker hurt after ‘traumatic fall’," 16 Sep. 2019 Two military helicopters stood at either end of the pitch. The Economist, "A sad, tawdry end for Robert Mugabe," 15 Sep. 2019 The 3:52-minute vid is filled with all kinds of badassery at the hands of Ariana, Miley, and Lana – think: knife throwing, boxing, and helicopters – but the best part is the outfits. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "Ariana Grande Wears Sexy Lingerie in New “Don’t Call Me Angel” Music Video," 13 Sep. 2019 One patient was taken by helicopter to University Medical Center in Las Vegas and six patients are expected to arrive by ground, said Danita Cohen, a customer and media relations official at the hospital. Hollie Silverman, CNN, "Nevada hot air balloon crash sends seven to Las Vegas hospital," 12 Sep. 2019 Tribble is said to have received perks like hotel accommodation, first-class airfare, the use of a credit card and personal helicopter flights from Cobra Acquisitions. Amy Gunia, Time, "FEMA Officials Charged With Taking Bribes Over Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief," 11 Sep. 2019 These ships currently have to be resupplied at sea by Marine helicopters off Camp Pendleton. Daniel Langhorne, Daily Pilot, "Navy awards $154 million construction contract to modernize Seal Beach base," 5 Sep. 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

26 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for helicopter

The first known use of helicopter was in 1887

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More Definitions for helicopter


How to pronounce helicopter (audio)

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 engage in dissolute behavior

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