an airplane with two sets of wings, one above and usually slightly forward of the other.

1870–75; bi-1 + (air)plane Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
biplane (ˈbaɪˌpleɪn)
Compare monoplane a type of aeroplane having two sets of wings, one above the other

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1874, as a theoretical notion; first attested 1908 in reference to the real thing; from bi- + plane. So called from the two "planes" of the double wings.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


airplane with two wings, one above the other. In the 1890s this configuration was adopted for some successful piloted gliders. The Wright brothers' biplanes (1903-09) opened the era of powered flight. Biplanes predominated in military and commercial aviation from World War I through the early 1930s, but the biplane's greater maneuverability could not offset the speed advantage of the lighter monoplane. After World War II, biplanes were used only for special purposes: crop dusting and sport (aerobatic) flying.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The fly winds up as a sort of biplane with a double set of wings.
Overview in a biplane aircraft, two wings are placed one above the other.
This is not usually considered a biplane, as the two wings are not one above the other.
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