(often initial capital letter) a large dirigible balloon consisting of a long, cylindrical, covered framework containing compartments or cells filled with gas, and of various structures for holding the engines, passengers, etc.
any rigid airship or dirigible.

1900; after Count von Zeppelin

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World English Dictionary
zeppelin (ˈzɛpəlɪn)
(sometimes capital) a large cylindrical rigid airship built from 1900 to carry passengers, and used in World War I for bombing and reconnaissance
[C20: named after Count von Zeppelin]

Zeppelin (German ˈtsɛpəliːn)
Count Ferdinand von (ˈfɛrdinant fɔn). 1838--1917, German aeronautical pioneer, who designed and manufactured airships (zeppelins)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1900, from Ger. Zeppelin, short for Zeppelinschiff "Zeppelin ship," after Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin (1838-1917), Ger. general who perfected its design.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences for Zeppelins
Zeppelins were used as bombers during world war i, without notable success.
The first offensive use of zeppelins was just two days after the invasion of belgium.
The history of zeppelins is of particular interest to stamp collectors.
Zeppelins are commonly used as a moving headquarters for villains in common culture.
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