zep·​pe·​lin | \ ˈze-p(ə-)lən How to pronounce zeppelin (audio) \

Definition of zeppelin

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a rigid airship consisting of a cylindrical trussed and covered frame supported by internal gas cells broadly : airship


biographical name
Zep·​pe·​lin | \ ˌtse-pə-ˈlēn How to pronounce Zeppelin (audio) , ˈze-p(ə-)lən \

Definition of Zeppelin (Entry 2 of 2)

Ferdinand (Adolf August Heinrich) 1838–1917 Graf von Zeppelin German general and aeronaut

Illustration of zeppelin

Illustration of zeppelin


In the meaning defined above

Examples of zeppelin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Why did zeppelins use hydrogen instead of helium, the American airship gas of choice? Keith O’brien, New York Times, "When Airplanes and Zeppelins Competed to Conquer the Skies," 28 Apr. 2020 One of the highlights of the film takes place in the German zeppelin airship. Susan King, Los Angeles Times, "World War I inspired some cinematic masterpieces. Here are a few of them," 1 Jan. 2020 Now scientists and others are starting to look at zeppelins as something more than hovering billboards like the Goodyear Blimp. April White, Smithsonian, "Why Zeppelins Are on the Rise Again," 22 Nov. 2019 The age of huge, ocean-crossing zeppelins came to an end in 1937, when the Hindenburg — the largest craft of its type ever built — erupted in flames while landing in New Jersey. NBC News, "Zeppelins stopped flying after the Hindenburg disaster. Now scientists want to bring them back.," 19 Aug. 2019 Doehner was only 8 years old when the famous zeppelin erupted into flames and crashed while docking in Lakehurst, New Jersey, on May 6, 1937, according to his obituary. Fox News, "Last survivor of the Hindenburg disaster dies at 90," 17 Nov. 2019 People travel by helicopter, hot-air balloon and metal zeppelins. James Poniewozik, New York Times, "Review: ‘His Dark Materials’ Paints a Vivid Children’s Crusade," 1 Nov. 2019 This was a time when zeppelins and other inflatable airships were being constructed, and places once beyond reach seemed attainable. David James, Anchorage Daily News, "Tales of spectacular derring-do make ‘Flight to the Top of the World’ a fun read," 26 Oct. 2019 The expensive production involves a live tiger, an exploding zeppelin and a crowd of bussed-in city down-and-outs posing as a lynch mob atop a New Jersey cliffside. Alexander C. Kafka, Washington Post, "An irresistible tale of early cinema makes for perfect summer reading," 8 June 2019

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


1908, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for zeppelin


Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin

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Time Traveler for zeppelin

Time Traveler

The first known use of zeppelin was in 1908

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Statistics for zeppelin

Last Updated

9 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Zeppelin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/zeppelin. Accessed 2 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for zeppelin


How to pronounce Zeppelin (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of zeppelin

: a large aircraft without wings that floats because it is filled with gas and that has a rigid frame inside its body to help it keep its shape


zep·​pe·​lin | \ ˈze-pə-lən How to pronounce zeppelin (audio) \

Kids Definition of zeppelin

: an airship resembling a huge long balloon that has a metal frame and is driven through the air by engines carried on its underside

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More from Merriam-Webster on zeppelin

Spanish Central: Translation of zeppelin

Nglish: Translation of zeppelin for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of zeppelin for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about zeppelin

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