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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web In the aviation industry, which otherwise had a terrible pandemic, this may be forgivable. Jon Sindreu, WSJ, 10 Nov. 2022 The country’s aviation industry has rules on how frequently airlines can operate flights to China, and its zero-tolerance policy toward Covid-19 has made things even harder. Tori Latham, Robb Report, 17 Oct. 2022 Airline offsets are too cheap to be effective, a new study says The global aviation industry, a major contributor to greenhouse gases, is aiming to reach net zero emissions by 2050. Tim Mcdonnell, Quartz, 12 Oct. 2022 After a high-profile battle involving wireless carriers, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the aviation industry, airlines are now replacing and retrofitting their faulty altimeters. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, 12 Oct. 2022 With the aviation industry facing a post-pandemic labor shortage, the carrier is finally softening its approach. Angus Whitley, Fortune, 11 Oct. 2022 Benschop was a keynote speaker at the World Aviation Festival in Amsterdam, a conference attended by about 5,000 aviation industry professionals, where Schiphol's struggles were a common topic of conversation. Blane Bachelor, CNN, 8 Oct. 2022 The aviation industry is hiring tens of thousands of workers to keep pace with steadily improving airline traffic that was largely grounded during the pandemic. Stephen Singer, Hartford Courant, 21 Sep. 2022 Gigi said one of her two sons is attending aviation maintenance school with hopes of becoming an aircraft mechanic. Claretta Bellamy, NBC News, 24 Aug. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'aviation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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 29 Nov. 2022.

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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