Other forms: pilots; piloted; piloting

A pilot leads the way. An aircraft pilot flies a plane, and a maritime pilot steers a ship. Also, to pilot is to guide to safety, like to navigate a ship out of a harbor or through a sea of zombies.

Pilot comes from the Greek pēdon meaning "oar." Like an oar that steers a ship, a pilot steers or directs a plane. A pilot can also be a model or basis for others of its kind. A school might launch a pilot breakfast program for a few students before introducing it to the whole school. The pilot episode of a TV show is like a test program produced to determine viewer interest before making a whole season.

Definitions of pilot
  1. noun
    someone who is licensed to operate an aircraft in flight
    synonyms: airplane pilot
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    barnstormer, stunt flier, stunt pilot
    a pilot who travels around the country giving exhibits of stunt flying and parachuting
    captain, senior pilot
    the pilot in charge of an airship
    combat pilot
    airplane pilot who fights in an action between two military forces
    co-pilot, copilot
    a relief pilot on an airplane
    a pilot trained and willing to cause a suicidal crash
    test pilot
    a pilot hired to fly experimental airplanes through maneuvers designed to test them
    the pilot who positions his aircraft outside and behind (on the wing of) the leader of a flying formation
    fighter pilot
    a military or naval pilot of fighter planes
    group captain
    a commissioned officer (especially one in the Royal Air Force) equivalent in rank to a colonel in the army
    a combat pilot who strafes the enemy
    type of:
    aeronaut, airman, aviator, flier, flyer
    someone who operates an aircraft
  2. noun
    a person qualified to guide ships through difficult waters going into or out of a harbor
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    type of:
    Jack, Jack-tar, gob, mariner, old salt, sea dog, seafarer, seaman, tar
    a man who serves as a sailor
  3. verb
    operate an airplane
    synonyms: aviate, fly
    transport by aeroplane
    travel in an airplane
    travel over (an area of land or sea) in an aircraft
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    fly blind
    fly an airplane solely by relying on instruments
    fly contact
    fly a plane by using visible landmarks or points of reference
    fly alone, without a co-pilot or passengers
    test fly
    test a plane
    fly a jet plane
    fly in or as if in a glider plane
    hydroplane, seaplane
    glide on the water in a hydroplane
    ride in a hot-air balloon
    flat-hat, hedgehop
    fly very close to the ground
    hang glide, soar
    fly by means of a hang glider
    soar or fly like a kite
    sailplane, soar
    fly a plane without an engine
    type of:
    control, operate
    handle and cause to function
  4. verb
    act as the navigator in a car, plane, or vessel and plan, direct, plot the path and position of the conveyance
    synonyms: navigate
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    guide in interplanetary travel
    type of:
    channelise, channelize, direct, guide, head, maneuver, manoeuver, manoeuvre, point, steer
    direct the course; determine the direction of travelling
  5. noun
    small auxiliary gas burner that provides a flame to ignite a larger gas burner
    synonyms: pilot burner, pilot light
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    type of:
    gas burner, gas jet
    burner such that combustible gas issues from a nozzle to form a steady flame
  6. noun
    something that serves as a model or a basis for making copies
    synonyms: archetype, original
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    the first functional model of some new design or product
    type of:
    example, model
    a representative form or pattern
  7. noun
    a program exemplifying a contemplated series; intended to attract sponsors
    synonyms: pilot film, pilot program
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    type of:
    TV program, TV show, television program, television show
    a program broadcast by television
  8. noun
    an inclined metal frame at the front of a locomotive to clear the track
    synonyms: buffer, cowcatcher, fender
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    type of:
    a structure supporting or containing something




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DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘pilot'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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