plane

1 of 6

noun (1)

1
a
[by shortening] : airplane
b
: one of the main supporting surfaces of an airplane
2
a
: a surface in which if any two points are chosen a straight line joining them lies wholly in that surface
b
: a flat or level surface
3
: a level of existence, consciousness, or development
on the intellectual plane

plane

2 of 6

verb (1)

planed; planing

transitive verb

1
a
: to make smooth or even : level
b
: to make smooth or even by use of a plane
2
: to remove by or as if by planing
often used with away or off

intransitive verb

1
: to work with a plane
2
: to do the work of a plane
planer noun

plane

3 of 6

noun (2)

: a tool for smoothing or shaping a wood surface

Illustration of plane

Illustration of plane
  • 3plane

plane

4 of 6

noun (3)

: any of a genus (Platanus of the family Platanaceae, the plane-tree family) of chiefly deciduous trees with large palmately lobed leaves, flowers in globose heads, and usually scaling bark

called also buttonwood, plane tree, sycamore

plane

5 of 6

verb (2)

planed; planing

intransitive verb

1
a
: to fly while keeping the wings motionless
b
: to skim across the surface of the water
2
: to travel by airplane

plane

6 of 6

adjective

1
: having no elevations or depressions : flat
2
a
: of, relating to, or dealing with geometric planes
b
: lying in a plane
a plane curve
Choose the Right Synonym for plane

level, flat, plane, even, smooth mean having a surface without bends, curves, or irregularities.

level applies to a horizontal surface that lies on a line parallel with the horizon.

the vast prairies are nearly level

flat applies to a surface devoid of noticeable curvatures, prominences, or depressions.

the work surface must be flat

plane applies to any real or imaginary flat surface in which a straight line between any two points on it lies wholly within that surface.

the plane sides of a crystal

even applies to a surface that is noticeably flat or level or to a line that is observably straight.

trim the hedge so it is even

smooth applies especially to a polished surface free of irregularities.

a smooth skating rink

Examples of plane in a Sentence

Adjective you can do these tracings on any plane surface
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Cuoco and Pelphrey welcomed Matilda at the end of March, and since then the child has had many firsts, including her first plane ride. Kimberlee Speakman, Peoplemag, 25 Nov. 2023 All Wheels Up, an organization advocating for accessible planes, is pushing for solutions that would allow people who use wheelchairs to independently maneuver themselves onto planes, such as by installing a wheelchair spot on planes. Megan Cerullo, CBS News, 24 Nov. 2023 This was less than a year following the Munich Olympic massacre, and during a time when Arabs were hijacking planes, shooting up airports, and finding Jews around the world to murder. Timothy Bella, Washington Post, 24 Nov. 2023 The academy will be based at Conway Regional Airport and utilize state-of-the-art planes and technology, including Tecnam airplanes with all-glass cockpits. Ryan Anderson, arkansasonline.com, 24 Nov. 2023 Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer and astrophysicist at the Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said the US Space Force data had cataloged two new objects in an orbital plane consistent with the launch from North Korea at the time stated by Pyongyang. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 23 Nov. 2023 Choosing Your Fare Frequent fliers know that buying a plane ticket is much more than deciding between economy and first class. Harrison Pierce, Travel + Leisure, 22 Nov. 2023 Media reports had warned that a software programming error could lead to bank shutdowns, power plant closures and even planes falling from the air when computer clocks shifted at midnight on Jan. 1, 2000. James Bandler, ProPublica, 21 Nov. 2023 Foos singer Dave Grohl also pitched in on a couple of sketches during the show, flexing his comedy muscles in a bit about pregnant woman on a plane in search of a doctor and a pre-recorded parody song about a country trio singing about the pleasures of partying on a lake beach. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, 14 Nov. 2023
Verb
These twin pontoons are not planing hulls, nor are the Volvos especially powerful for this size yacht. Howard Walker, Robb Report, 23 Oct. 2023 While most planes its size have more than 200 seats, La Compagnie’s Airbus A321neo has just 76 and none are middle seats. Katie Jackson, Robb Report, 12 Oct. 2023 After the string of calamities, the parliament signed off on buying three new Airbus A350 planes for $1.6 billion in 2019. Kate Brady, BostonGlobe.com, 15 Aug. 2023 Then, a time jump happens, and the book ends with Belly a little older, and planing to marry Conrad. Olivia Evans, Women's Health, 4 Aug. 2023 Bronson announced a proposal to buy homeless people plane tickets out of the state or to other Alaska cities to avoid the frigid winter temperatures instead of standing up Anchorage's sports arena as a mass shelter. Mark Thiessen, BostonGlobe.com, 30 July 2023 This may solve the problem of the sticking door, but if the wood is permanently warped, your best bet for how to fix a sticky door is planing the door to fit the doorframe. Timothy Dale, Better Homes & Gardens, 27 July 2023 Minutes later, Red learned of Ressler’s visit, and planed his trip to drop the skull off at the Miura Bull Ranch. Henry Chandonnet, Peoplemag, 14 July 2023 With your legs curved and feet perpendicular on top of the board, the board will plane at just three miles per hour and the pressure will tilt the board against your feet. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, 13 July 2023
Adjective
Plus this episode also delivers peak unhinged Lex while he's stranded on an island post-plane crash and suffering from malaria, which leads to a moment that teases his natural killer instincts that he's kept so well hidden from Clark, and the world, so far. Christian Holub, EW.com, 16 Oct. 2021 But those cars were powered by pushrod engines with conventional cross-plane cranks. Rich Ceppos, Car and Driver, 2 Oct. 2022 Instead, the Project GTP Hypercar’s engine, as Road & Track points out, sounds much more like a classic American V-8 with a cross-plane crank. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, 13 July 2022 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

Latin planum, from neuter of planus level

Verb (1)

Middle English, from Anglo-French planer, from Late Latin planare, from Latin planus level — more at floor

Noun (2)

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin plana, from planare

Noun (3)

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin platanus, from Greek platanos; probably akin to Greek platys broad — more at place

Verb (2)

Middle English, from Middle French planer, from plain level, plain

Adjective

Latin planus

First Known Use

Noun (1)

1604, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

Verb (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (3)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb (2)

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of plane was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near plane

Cite this Entry

“Plane.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plane. Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition

plane

1 of 5 verb
planed; planing
1
: to make smooth or level especially with a plane
2
: to remove by planing
often used with away or off
planer noun

plane

2 of 5 noun
: a tool for smoothing or shaping wood

plane

3 of 5 noun
1
a
: a surface in which a straight line joining any two points on the surface also lies completely on the surface
b
: a flat or level surface
2
: a level of existence or development
on the intellectual plane
3
a
: one of the main supporting surfaces of an airplane
b

plane

4 of 5 adjective
1
: having no elevations or depressions : flat
2
a
: of, relating to, or dealing with planes
plane geometry
b
: lying within a plane
a plane curve

plane

5 of 5 verb
planed; planing
1
: to fly while keeping the wings still
2
: to travel by airplane
Etymology

Verb

Middle English planen "to make smooth or level," from early French planer (same meaning), derived from Latin planus "level" — related to plain entry 1

Adjective

from Latin planus "level"

Verb

from French planer "to fly while keeping the wings motionless," from plain "level, plain"; so called from the fact that the wings of a soaring bird form a level surface

Medical Definition

plane

noun
1
a
: a surface that contains at least three points not all in a straight line and is such that a line drawn through any two points in it lies wholly in the surface
b
: an imaginary plane used to identify parts of the body or a part of the skull see frankfort horizontal plane, midsagittal plane
2
: a stage in surgical anesthesia
a light plane of anesthesia is maintained with cyclopropaneJournal of the American Medical Association

More from Merriam-Webster on plane

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