volplane

verb
vol·plane | \ˈväl-ˌplān, ˈvȯl-\
volplaned; volplaning

Definition of volplane 

intransitive verb

1 : to glide in or as if in an airplane

Did You Know?

Vol plané (meaning "gliding flight") was a phrase first used by 19th-century French ornithologists to describe downward flight by birds; it contrasted with "vol à voile" ("soaring flight"). Around the time Orville and Wilbur Wright were promoting their latest "aeroplane" in France, the noun and the verb "volplane" soared to popularity in America as terms describing the daring dives by aviators (Fly Magazine reported in 1910, "The French flyers are noted for their thrilling spirals and vol planes from the sky"). The avian-to-aviator generalization was fitting, since the Wright brothers had studied the flight of birds in designing their planes.

First Known Use of volplane

1909, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for volplane

French vol plané gliding flight

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about volplane

Listen to Our Podcast about volplane

Dictionary Entries near volplane

Volof

Vologda

Vólos

volplane

Volsci

Volscian

volsellum

Statistics for volplane

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for volplane

The first known use of volplane was in 1909

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on volplane

See words that rhyme with volplane

Comments on volplane

What made you want to look up volplane? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a state of commotion or excitement

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!