1904, coined in Amer.Eng. with sense of "motorboat that glides on the surface of water," from hydro-, comb. form of Gk. hydor "water" + plane (from airplane). The verb is first attested 1914, "to skim the surface of water by use of hydroplanes;" meaning "skid on a thin layer of water" (esp. of automobile tires) first recorded 1962, properly aquaplane (1961 in this sense).