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cockpit

[kok-pit] /ˈkɒkˌpɪt/
noun
1.
a space, usually enclosed, in the forward fuselage of an airplane containing the flying controls, instrument panel, and seats for the pilot and copilot or flight crew.
2.
a sunken, open area, generally in the after part of a small vessel, as a yacht, providing space for the pilot, part or all of the crew, or guests.
3.
the space, including the seat and instrumentation, surrounding the driver of an automobile.
4.
a pit or enclosed place for cockfights.
5.
a place where a contest is fought or which has been the scene of many contests or battles.
6.
(formerly) a space below the water line in a warship, occupied by the quarters of the junior officers and used as a dressing station for those wounded in action.
Origin
1580-1590
1580-90; cock1 + pit1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for cockpit

cockpit

/ˈkɒkˌpɪt/
noun
1.
the compartment in a small aircraft in which the pilot, crew, and sometimes the passengers sit Compare flight deck (sense 1)
2.
the driver's compartment in a racing car
3.
(nautical)
  1. an enclosed or recessed area towards the stern of a small vessel from which it is steered
  2. (formerly) an apartment in a warship used as quarters for junior officers and as a first-aid station during combat
4.
the site of numerous battles or campaigns
5.
an enclosure used for cockfights
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 cockpit
n.

1580s, "a pit for fighting cocks," from cock (n.1) + pit (n.1). Used in nautical sense (1706) for midshipmen's compartment below decks; transferred to airplanes (1914) and to cars (1930s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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