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helicopter

[hel-i-kop-ter, hee-li-] /ˈhɛl ɪˌkɒp tər, ˈhi lɪ-/
noun
1.
any of a class of heavier-than-air craft that are lifted and sustained in the air horizontally by rotating wings or blades turning on vertical axes through power supplied by an engine.
verb (used without object)
2.
to fly in a helicopter.
verb (used with object)
3.
to convey in a helicopter.
Origin
1885-1890
1885-90; < French hélicoptère. See helico-, -pter
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for helicopters
  • Modern helicopters also typically use turbine engines to power the rotor.
  • The soldiers and marines answered by bringing in tanks and helicopters.
British Dictionary definitions for helicopters

helicopter

/ˈhɛlɪˌkɒptə/
noun
1.
an aircraft capable of hover, vertical flight, and horizontal flight in any direction. Most get all of their lift and propulsion from the rotation of overhead blades See also autogiro
verb
2.
to transport (people or things) or (of people or things) to be transported by helicopter
Word Origin
C19: from French hélicoptère, from helico- + Greek pteron wing
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 helicopters

helicopter

n.

1861, from French hélicoptère "device for enabling airplanes to rise perpendicularly," thus "flying machine propelled by screws." The idea was to gain lift from spiral aerofoils, and it didn't work. Used by Jules Verne and the Wright Brothers, the word transferred to helicopters in the modern sense when those were developed in the 1920s. From Greek helix (genitive helikos) "spiral" (see helix) + pteron "wing" (see pterodactyl). Nativized in Flemish as wentelwiek "with rotary vanes."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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