hy·​dro·​plane | \ ˈhī-drə-ˌplān \

Definition of hydroplane

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a powerboat designed for racing that skims the surface of the water
2 : seaplane


hydroplaned; hydroplaning; hydroplanes

Definition of hydroplane (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to skim on water especially, of a vehicle : to skid on a wet surface (such as pavement) because a film of water on the surface causes the tires to lose contact with it

Examples of hydroplane in a Sentence


The car started hydroplaning and skidded off the road.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

His boats swept the unlimited hydroplane national titles from 1967-71. Seattle Times Staff, The Seattle Times, "Championship hydroplane builder Ed Karelsen, 86, dies Saturday in Edmonds," 1 Jan. 2019 Today in history The Slo-mo-shun hydroplane shatters the world speed record on Lake Washington in 1950. Morning Brief, The Seattle Times, "WSU quarterback Hilinski had CTE; travel ban upheld | Tuesday Morning Brief, June 26," 26 June 2018 Andrew Tate of Walled Lake, Mich., driving the U-9 Delta/Realtrac H1 Unlimited hydroplane, captured the inaugural Southern Cup championship in Guntersville, Ala., on Sunday. Seattle Times Staff, The Seattle Times, "Andrew Tate drives oldest hydro to victory in Southern Cup," 24 June 2018 With the win, the U-9 Delta/Realtrac becomes the oldest race hull ever to win an H1 Unlimited hydroplane race. Seattle Times Staff, The Seattle Times, "Andrew Tate drives oldest hydro to victory in Southern Cup," 24 June 2018 Going at a speed of forty miles an hour, the hydroplane was heading up the bight in the direction of the sand-pit which connects North Island with Coronado. sandiegouniontribune.com, "Biplane flies," 27 Jan. 2018 In addition to the Unlimiteds, nine Grand Nationals will be competing on Mission Bay as well as several limited hydroplane classes. Bill Center, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Competition heats up with small field," 15 Sep. 2017 While attending a hydroplane race in 1996, two locals of Kennewick, Washington, discovered a broad-faced skull inching its way out of the bank of the Columbia River. Adam Rutherford, The Atlantic, "A New History of the First Peoples in the Americas," 3 Oct. 2017 Limited class hydroplanes and flatbottom powerboats will also race. Bill Center, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Competition heats up with small field," 15 Sep. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Standing water covered some roads on Friday, causing at least one car to hydroplane and flip over. Fox News, "The Latest: As cyclone nears, streets empty in Omani city," 25 May 2018 Their Ford Mustang hydroplaned and hit the school bus head-on. Chelsea Prince, ajc, "Funeral set for girl, 13, killed in crash with school bus," 22 May 2018 When driving in wet conditions, cut the risk of hydroplaning by reducing vehicle speed and making sure tires are properly inflated and have sufficient tread. Nashelly Chavez, sacbee, "Jackknifed FedEx big rig closes lanes on Highway 50 Saturday, leaves diesel spill on roadway | The Sacramento Bee," 4 Nov. 2017 This was an especial gift since the Pirelli P Zero Corsa summer tires that work so admirably in sunny Lisbon were cold, hard and hydroplaning luridly in Wales. Dan Neil, WSJ, "Why the $285,000 McLaren 720S Is the Shape of Things to Come," 13 July 2017 Schoenhals had been driving a car northbound on U.S. 69 near 363rd Street shortly before 5 a.m. when the car hydroplaned off the highway into a ditch filled with rushing water. Ian Cummings, kansascity, "Kansas man killed in flooding in Miami County," 22 Aug. 2017 Her cruiser hydroplaned, crossed the grass median and went into oncoming traffic, troopers said. David Harris, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Weather may have played role in deputy crash, FHP says," 14 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hydroplane.' 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 hydroplane


1904, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1962, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for hydroplane

Last Updated

18 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hydroplane

The first known use of hydroplane was in 1904

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More Definitions for hydroplane



English Language Learners Definition of hydroplane

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a boat that is designed to move over the surface of water at very high speeds



English Language Learners Definition of hydroplane (Entry 2 of 2)

US, of a vehicle : to slide on a wet road because a thin layer of water on the road causes the tires to lose contact with it


hy·​dro·​plane | \ ˈhī-drə-ˌplān \

Kids Definition of hydroplane

: a speedboat whose hull is completely or partly raised as it glides over water

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