light·​er-than-air ˈlī-tər-thən-ˈer How to pronounce lighter-than-air (audio)
: of less weight than the air displaced

Examples of lighter-than-air in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There are several Latin American influences, too, such as the lighter-than-air Tres Leches cake and the tiger prawns yello anticucho. Michele Robson, Forbes, 28 Mar. 2024 The lighter-than-air craft then edges toward the road and strikes the power line, causing several electrical sparks to fly. Michael Dorgan, Fox News, 22 Mar. 2024 Green infrastructure development: My focus will be on fostering business-friendly green infrastructure, including sustainable communities and eco-friendly transportation like lighter-than-air technologies, rail and e-bikes to minimize carbon emissions. The San Diego Union-Tribune Staff, San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 Feb. 2024 But the future of this critical, lighter-than-air element is certainly in flux, Saha said, and the medical world is watching closely. Caroline Hopkins, NBC News, 25 Jan. 2024 While there are a few lighter-than-air contenders, all eyes are on LTA Research’s Pathfinder 1, which will begin test flights this year. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, 2 Aug. 2023 Advertisement Now, using data from the satellite data company BlackSky, researchers have confirmed that China is fielding lighter-than-air vehicles at the facility. Tim Fernholz, Quartz, 1 May 2023 His lighter-than-air vocals are ideally suited to compositions that are sometimes romantic, other times whimsical and even quirky. David L. Coddon, San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 June 2023 Some zeroed in on an enormous hangar in a remote part of Xinjiang, which looked like the infrastructure needed to deploy some kind of lighter-than-air vehicle. Tim Fernholz, Quartz, 1 May 2023

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

Word History

First Known Use

1901, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of lighter-than-air was in 1901

Dictionary Entries Near lighter-than-air

Cite this Entry

“Lighter-than-air.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: able to fly by the use of a gas (as helium or hot air) less dense than the air that would occupy the same amount of space

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