noun, plural air·craft.

  1. any machine supported for flight in the air by buoyancy or by the dynamic action of air on its surfaces, especially powered airplanes, gliders, and helicopters.

noun plural -craft

  1. any machine capable of flying by means of buoyancy or aerodynamic forces, such as a glider, helicopter, or aeroplane

1851, originally in reference to airships and balloons, from air (n.1) + craft (n.); a term from boating, as were many early aviation words. Of airplanes from 1907 and since 1930s exclusively of them. Aircraft carrier is attested from 1919 (H.M.S. Hermes, launched September 1919, was the first ship to be built from the hull up as an aircraft carrier).

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