avi·​a·​tion ˌā-vē-ˈā-shən How to pronounce aviation (audio)
often attributive
: the operation of aircraft
a pioneer in the early days of aviation
a career in aviation
sometimes, specifically : the operation of heavier-than-air aircraft
Fascinated from that moment on by aviation, [John] Montgomery pursued pioneering experiments in the design of a heavier-than-air glider … Kevin Starr
: military airplanes
carrier-based aviation
: airplane manufacture, development, and design
By that time, [Theodore P.] Wright already had established himself as a leading figure in American aviation.Michael Rothschild

Examples of aviation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web These videos, advocates for the unhoused and drone experts say, likely constitute harassment and are potentially in violation of aviation law. Cyrus Farivar, Forbes, 15 Feb. 2024 The family lived for a time in Inglewood, California, where her father continued working in the aviation industry. Frederick N. Rasmussen, Baltimore Sun, 15 Feb. 2024 Right, to the private aviation terminal across the runway from the commercial airline gates. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 Feb. 2024 Fortune Sanctions hits Russia’s aviation sector Western sanctions on Russia’s aviation sector are starting to bite. Diane Brady, Fortune, 5 Feb. 2024 For 30 years, scores of car buffs, aviation nerds and bikers have revved their engines and set out for for the annual show each spring, which also serves as a fundraiser for the Coastside Adult Day Health Center. Kate Talerico, The Mercury News, 4 Feb. 2024 Romeo, who was joined on the expedition by two of his brothers who are also pilots, told the Journal that their aviation expertise provided a fresh perspective during the search. Stephen Smith, CBS News, 29 Jan. 2024 The aviation industry depends on trust from people whose lifestyles depend on flying. Madeleine Kearns, National Review, 28 Jan. 2024 While a great deal of mystery surrounds Amelia Earhart's disappearance, her contributions to aviation and women's rights have inspired people for upwards of 80 years From a young age, Amelia Earhart loved flying. Erin Hill, Peoplemag, 30 Jan. 2024 See More

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

Word History


French, from Latin avis

First Known Use

1865, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of aviation was in 1865

Dictionary Entries Near aviation

Cite this Entry

“Aviation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aviation. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


avi·​a·​tion ˌā-vē-ˈā-shən How to pronounce aviation (audio)
: the operation of aircraft (as airplanes or helicopters) that are heavier than air
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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