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[hahy-druh-pleyn] /ˈhaɪ drəˌpleɪn/
a seaplane.
an attachment to an airplane enabling it to glide on the water.
a light, high-powered boat, especially one with hydrofoils or a stepped bottom, designed to plane along the surface of the water at very high speeds.
a horizontal rudder for submerging or elevating a submarine.
verb (used without object), hydroplaned, hydroplaning.
to skim over water in the manner of a hydroplane.
to travel in a hydroplane.
Also, aquaplane. (of a vehicular tire or vehicle) to ride on a film of water on a wet surface with a resulting decrease in braking and steering effectiveness.
Origin of hydroplane
1900-05; hydro-1 + plane1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for hydroplane
  • Insects that land on the rim of the pitcher hydroplane on the liquid and tumble in.
  • If you begin to hydroplane, take your foot off the accelerator and slow down.
  • Water on the road can cause a vehicle to hydroplane.
  • If you begin to hydroplane, hold the wheel steady, take your foot from the gas pedal and gently pump the brake.
  • In a sudden downpour, driving fast or driving on worn tires can cause your tires to hydroplane.
  • Watch carefully for water pooling on the roadway surface as this could cause your vehicle to slide or hydroplane.
  • Driving too fast through standing water can cause you to hydroplane and lose control of your vehicle.
  • If you can see reflections on the pavement, or the car ahead leaves no tracks on the water, your car could hydroplane.
  • Rain reduces traction and causes tires to hydroplane.
  • Driving too fast through water could cause you to lose control and hydroplane.
British Dictionary definitions for hydroplane


a motorboat equipped with hydrofoils or with a shaped bottom that raises its hull out of the water at high speeds
an attachment to an aircraft to enable it to glide along the surface of water
another name (esp US) for a seaplane
a horizontal vane on the hull of a submarine for controlling its vertical motion
(intransitive) (of a boat) to rise out of the water in the manner of a hydroplane
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hydroplane

"motorboat that glides on the surface of water," 1895, coined by U.S. engineer Harvey D. Williams ["Sibley Journal of Engineering," Cornell University, vol. X, p.81]; from hydro- + plane (from airplane).


by 1908, "to skim the surface of water by use of hydroplanes," from hydroplane (n.). Meaning "skid on a thin layer of water" (especially of automobile tires) first recorded 1962, properly aquaplane (itself from 1961 in this sense). Related: Hydroplaned; hydroplaning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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