helicopter

\ \ [19] The term helicopter was coined in the mid-19th century from Greek hélixspiral’ (source of English helix [16] and helical [17]) and Greek ptéronwing’ (source of English pterodactyl and related to feather). The French were first in the field with hélicoptère, and the earliest record of the word in English, in 1861, was the barely anglicized helicoptere, but by the late 1880s the modern form helicopter was being used. (These 19th-century helicopters were of course a far cry from the present-day rotorblade- driven craft, which were introduced in the late 1930s; as their name suggests, they were lifted – or more usually not lifted – by rotating spiral-shaped aerofoils.)
\ \ Cf.FEATHER, HELICAL, HELIX, PTERODACTYL

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Helicopter — Hel i*cop ter, v. i. to travel in a helicopter. [PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Helicopter — Hel i*cop ter, v. t. to transport in a helicopter. [PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • helicopter — HELICOPTÉR, helicoptere, s.n. v. elicopter. Trimis de gall, 13.09.2007. Sursa: DEX 98  HELICOPTÉR s.n. v. elicopter. Trimis de LauraGellner, 13.09.2007. Sursa: DN …   Dicționar Român

  • helicopter — [hel′i käp΄tər] n. [Fr hélicoptère: see HELICO & PTERO ] a kind of vertical lift aircraft, capable of hovering or moving in any direction, having a motor driven, horizontal rotor vi., vt. to travel or convey by helicopter …   English World dictionary

  • Helicopter — Hel i*cop ter, n. [NL., fr. Gr. e lix, e likos, a spiral + ptero n a wing.] a heavier than air aircraft whose lift is provided by the aerodynamic forces on rotating blades rather than on fixed wings. Contrasted with {fixed wing aircraft}. [PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • helicopter — UK US /ˈhelɪkɒptər/ noun [C] TRANSPORT ► a type of aircraft without wings, that has long flat parts on top that go round very fast. Helicopters take off and land vertically …   Financial and business terms

  • helicopter — 1861, from Fr. 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… …   Etymology dictionary

  • helicopter — [n] aircraft autogiro, chopper, copter, eggbeater*, whirlybird; concept 504 …   New thesaurus

  • helicopter — ► NOUN ▪ a type of aircraft deriving both lift and propulsion from one or two sets of horizontally revolving rotors. ORIGIN French hélicoptère, from Greek helix spiral + pteron wing …   English terms dictionary

  • Helicopter — For other uses, see Helicopter (disambiguation). Helicopter An LAPD Bell 206 …   Wikipedia

  • helicopter — /hel i kop teuhr, hee li /, n. 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. v.i. 2. to fly in a… …   Universalium

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