a heavier-than-air aircraft kept aloft by the upward thrust exerted by the passing air on its fixed wings and driven by propellers, jet propulsion, etc.
any similar heavier-than-air aircraft, as a glider or helicopter.
Also, especially British, aeroplane.

1870–75, for an earlier sense; alteration of aeroplane, with air1 replacing aero-

proairplane, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
airplane (ˈɛəˌpleɪn)
(US), (Canadian) Also called: aeroplane a heavier-than-air powered flying vehicle with fixed wings

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1907, from air (1) + plane; though the original references are British, the word caught on in Amer.Eng., where it largely superseded earlier aeroplane (1873 in this sense and still common in British Eng.; q.v.). Aircraft
"airplane" also is also from 1907; airship is 1888, from Ger. Luftschiff "motor-driver dirigible."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences for airplanes
Fixedwing aircraft aeroplanes or airplanes are technically called fixedwing aircraft.
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