contrail

[kon-treyl]
noun
a visible condensation of water droplets or ice crystals from the atmosphere, occurring in the wake of an aircraft, rocket, or missile under certain conditions.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
contrail (ˈkɒntreɪl)
 
n
another name for vapour trail
 
[C20: from con(densation) + trail]

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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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

contrail
1945, from con(densation) trail.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
contrail
condensation trail
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

contrail

streamer of cloud sometimes observed behind an airplane flying in clear, cold, humid air. It forms upon condensation of the water vapour produced by the combustion of fuel in the airplane engines. When the ambient relative humidity is high, the resulting ice-crystal plume may last for several hours. The trail may be distorted by the winds, and sometimes it spreads outwards to form a layer of cirrus cloud. On rare occasions, when the air is nearly saturated with water vapour, air circulation at the wing tips of an airplane may cause sufficient pressure and temperature reductions to cause cloud streamers to form

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
It had a short contrail and may have had four engines.
If the dolphin is swimming, the action of the flukes beats the contrail into a
  wavy line.
Contrail requires users to opt-in if they want to receive information from
  friends.
Watch the reflection of the sun on the contrail and notice the angle.
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