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[dir-i-juh-buh l, dih-rij-uh-] /ˈdɪr ɪ dʒə bəl, dɪˈrɪdʒ ə-/
an airship.
designed for or capable of being directed, controlled, or steered.
Origin of dirigible
1575-85; 1905-10 for noun; < Latin dīrig(ere) to direct + -ible
Related forms
dirigibility, noun
nondirigibility, noun
nondirigible, adjective, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for dirigible
Historical Examples
  • At all events, the protagonists were somewhat loth to utilise the dirigible upon an elaborate scale or in an aggressive manner.

    Aeroplanes and Dirigibles of War Frederick A. Talbot
  • The dirigible swung; white-clad shoulders and body slumped into view.

    Raiders Invisible Desmond Winter Hall
  • More than a century ago, you know, dirigible air-ships were invented.

    Caesar's Column Ignatius Donnelly
  • The crew of that dirigible of death, Chris discovered, had not had a chance.

    Raiders Invisible Desmond Winter Hall
  • Numerous airships of the dirigible type made their appearance and many balloon factories were established.

  • Theoretically, there is no limit to the lift of a dirigible.

    With The Night Mail Rudyard Kipling
  • Have a knowledge of the theory of the aeroplane, helicopter, and ornithopter, and of the spherical and dirigible balloon.

  • You can please yourself, but—you might as well choose a dirigible.

    With The Night Mail Rudyard Kipling
  • I do wish we had one like that dirigible, with the planes on either side of it.

  • The dirigible balloon was of the Zeppelin type, and was not always dependable.

    The Sequel George A. Taylor
British Dictionary definitions for dirigible


able to be steered or directed
another name for airship
Derived Forms
dirigibility, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin dīrigere to direct
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 dirigible

"airship," 1885, from French dirigeable, literally "capable of being directed or guided," from Latin dirigere (see direct (v.)). The word existed as an adjective in English from 1580s, with the literal sense.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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