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[kok-pit] /ˈkɒkˌpɪt/
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.
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.
the space, including the seat and instrumentation, surrounding the driver of an automobile.
a pit or enclosed place for cockfights.
a place where a contest is fought or which has been the scene of many contests or battles.
(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 of cockpit
1580-90; cock1 + pit1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for cockpit
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Dick leaned out of his cockpit and fired a single red Very light, the signal for the attack.

  • Into the cockpit, splashing, something dropped—a coil of rope.

    The Black Bag Louis Joseph Vance
  • Maria told the old woman what the cock had said, and the next Sunday Juan took the fighting cock to the cockpit.

    Filipino Popular Tales Dean S. Fansler
  • But at the same instant Chris leaped desperately from the cockpit of the scout.

    Raiders Invisible Desmond Winter Hall
  • The chaplain attended in the cockpit to comfort the dying, and administer the rites of the Church.

    On the Spanish Main John Masefield
British Dictionary definitions for cockpit


the compartment in a small aircraft in which the pilot, crew, and sometimes the passengers sit Compare flight deck (sense 1)
the driver's compartment in a racing car
  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
the site of numerous battles or campaigns
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

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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