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a person duly qualified to steer ships into or out of a harbor or through certain difficult waters.
a person who steers a ship.
Aeronautics. a person duly qualified to operate an airplane, balloon, or other aircraft.
a guide or leader: the pilot of the expedition.
coast pilot ( def 1 ).
pilot light ( def 1 ).
Machinery. a guide for centering or otherwise positioning two adjacent parts, often consisting of a projection on one part fitting into a recess in the other.
Railroads. cowcatcher.
Also called pilot film, pilot tape. Television. a prototypical filmed or taped feature, produced with hopes of network adoption as a television series and aired to test potential viewer interest and attract sponsors.
a preliminary or experimental trial or test: The school will offer a pilot of its new computer course.
verb (used with object)
to steer.
to lead, guide, or conduct, as through unknown places, intricate affairs, etc.
to act as pilot on, in, or over.
to be in charge of or responsible for: We're looking for someone to pilot the new project.
serving as an experimental or trial undertaking prior to full-scale operation or use: a pilot project.

1520–30; earlier pylotte < Middle French pillotte < Italian pilota, dissimilated variant of pedota < Medieval Greek *pēdṓtēs steersman, equivalent to pēd(á) rudder (plural of pēdón oar) + -ōtēs agent suffix

unpiloted, adjective
well-piloted, adjective

Pilate, pilot.

2. helmsman. 13. maneuver, manage.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
pilot (ˈpaɪlət)
1.  a.  a person who is qualified to operate an aircraft or spacecraft in flight
 b.  (as modifier): pilot error
2.  a.  a person who is qualified to steer or guide a ship into or out of a port, river mouth, etc
 b.  (as modifier): a pilot ship
3.  a person who steers a ship
4.  a person who acts as a leader or guide
5.  machinery a guide, often consisting of a tongue or dowel, used to assist in joining two mating parts together
6.  machinery a plug gauge for measuring an internal diameter
7.  films a colour test strip accompanying black-and-white rushes from colour originals
8.  an experimental programme on radio or television
9.  See pilot film
10.  (modifier) used in or serving as a test or trial: a pilot project
11.  (modifier) serving as a guide: a pilot beacon
12.  to act as pilot of
13.  to control the course of
14.  to guide or lead (a project, people, etc)
[C16: from French pilote, from Medieval Latin pilotus, ultimately from Greek pēdon oar; related to Greek pous foot]

piloting (ˈpaɪlətɪŋ)
1.  the navigational handling of a ship near land using buoys, soundings, landmarks, etc, or the finding of a ship's position by such means
2.  the occupation of a pilot

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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Word Origin & History

1512, "one who steers a ship," from M.Fr. pillot, from It. piloto, O.It. pedoto, usually said to be from Medieval Gk. *pedotes "rudder, helmsman," from Gk. pedon "steering oar," related to pous (gen. podos) "foot" (see foot). Change of -d- to -l- in L. parallels that in odor/olfactory.
Sense extended 1848 to "one who controls a balloon," and 1907 to "one who flies an airplane." The verb is first recorded 1693.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
phased integrated laser optics technology
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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Example sentences
Also, piloting-wise this is an entirely different ball game without discipline.
But those aviators are worn out from non-stop drone-piloting duty.
We look forward to piloting these vehicles around our own megacity soon and
  seeing what kind of badge value they bestow on us.
It introduced room for piloting errors but also for piloting skills, and took
  away the element of chance.
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