noun Also air lift.

  1. a system for transporting persons or cargo by aircraft, especially in an emergency.
  2. the persons or cargo so transported.
  3. the act or process of transporting such a load.
  4. a pump for raising liquids by the pressure of air forced into the pump chamber.

verb (used with object)

  1. to transport (persons or cargo) by airlift.


  1. of or relating to an airlift or airlifts: to increase the army’s airlift capacity.


  1. the transportation by air of passengers, troops, cargo, etc, esp when other routes are blocked


  1. (tr) to transport by an airlift

also air-lift, 1893 as a type of pumping device; 1945 in the sense “transportation of supplies by air,” from air (n.1) + lift (n.). As a verb by 1949; popularized in reference to the response to the West Berlin blockade. Related: Air-lifted; air-lifting.

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