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pre·​flight ˈprē-ˌflīt How to pronounce preflight (audio)
: preparing for or preliminary to flight (as of an aircraft)
a preflight inspection


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preflighted; preflighting; preflights

transitive verb

: to inspect (an aircraft) before a flight


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: a preflight inspection of an aircraft

Examples of preflight in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
As 19-year-old Lee performed her preflight check in July 1932, Greenwood’s other training biplane, called the Student Prince, taxied down the runway, piloted by one of the Chinese Flying Club of Portland boys earning solo hours. Susan Tate Ankeny, Smithsonian Magazine, 23 Apr. 2024 The test-firing of the Ariane 6 main engine on a launch pad at the Guiana Space Center in South America last week was the most significant test not yet accomplished on the rocket's preflight checklist. Stephen Clark, Ars Technica, 28 Nov. 2023 With those milestones complete, ground teams rolled the booster back to its hangar for final preflight checks and reconfigurations. Stephen Clark, Ars Technica, 4 Jan. 2024 This enables the recording to capture the pilots’ preflight checks, passenger boarding and other activities as the crew prepares for takeoff. Mark Walker, New York Times, 11 Jan. 2024 According to officials, three flight attendants were taken to the hospital after inhaling fumes during preflight checks. Stepheny Price, Fox News, 18 Dec. 2023 If the preflight request fails, the final request will still be sent, but a warning will be surfaced in the DevTools issues panel. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, 13 Jan. 2022 Now, those who have previously indulged in the delicacy of a preflight recharge will fall short of Delta’s new standards, and must find a new safe space prior to takeoff. Jessica Chapel, Condé Nast Traveler, 20 Sep. 2023 According to both the passengers and the staff, a huge component of the preflight experience is team bonding, creating trust and comfortability. Jessica Chapel, Condé Nast Traveler, 18 Aug. 2023
All the late-night studying, freezing-cold preflights, frustrating mechanical issues, and irritating schedule conflicts had not beaten me. Sarah Schutte, National Review, 25 Jan. 2024 Meanwhile, the preflight weighing of passengers was carried out by Uzbekistan Airways in 2015 as part of the airline’s safety measures. Chloe Taylor, Fortune, 31 May 2023 Locking all systems in Sport but leaving stability control on for the time being completed the initial preflight check. Georg Kacher, Car and Driver, 26 Apr. 2023 Comparison between preflight and postflight MRI scans revealed small but significant changes occur in the brains of astronauts during long-term spaceflights. Doug Adler, Discover Magazine, 14 Apr. 2020 Commenters worried that the need to visit a vet to complete the health form would constitute a financial burden, that the overlapping nature of the three forms was confusing, and that the 48-hour preflight deadline could compromise a disabled person’s ability to travel in the event of an emergency. Wes Siler, Outside Online, 9 Dec. 2020 This early end of the test happened when the helicopter was trying to shift the flight computer from preflight into flight mode. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 19 Apr. 2021 By comparing and contrasting the preflight and postflight scans, the researchers found statistically significant changes in several key organs and structures. Doug Adler, Discover Magazine, 14 Apr. 2020 In the dozens of incidents where the fan cowl door has ripped off, overwhelmingly it’s because a mechanic failed to re-latch the doors properly before takeoff and preflight inspections by the pilots and maintenance supervisors missed the error. Dominic Gates, Anchorage Daily News, 24 Aug. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'preflight.' 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


1942, in the meaning defined above


1945, in the meaning defined above


1950, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of preflight was in 1942

Dictionary Entries Near preflight

Cite this Entry

“Preflight.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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