Definition of cockpit in English:



  • 1A compartment for the pilot, and sometimes also the crew, in an aircraft or spacecraft.

    • ‘Scientists are looking at advanced voice control aspects of the cockpit, where a pilot will simply tell the aircraft what to do.’
    • ‘The camera would be positioned in the passenger compartment and its image viewed by pilots in the cockpit on an LCD.’
    • ‘We always had one or more qualified pilots in cockpits.’
    • ‘A pilot can obtain clearance on a screen in the cockpit before calling ground control to get taxi instructions for takeoff.’
    • ‘With the proliferation in business aircraft of glass cockpits and automated flight controls, traditional techniques to train professional pilots are inevitably evolving.’
    • ‘In-flight refuelling gear is installed in the top centre line of the aircraft behind the cockpit.’
    • ‘I was helplessly trapped in the cockpit with the aircraft lying on its starboard side.’
    • ‘That's when someone opened the escape hatch on top of the aircraft in the cockpit, he said.’
    • ‘There was more discussion in the cockpit about which aircraft made it in and which didn't.’
    • ‘On a flight a while back I was able to listen to the pilots in the cockpit.’
    • ‘He could be working inside the cockpit, the crew compartment or outside checking the tire temperatures after a brake test.’
    • ‘Today, the Air Force involuntarily removes young pilots from the cockpits of manned aircraft for 36 months to ‘fly’ unmanned aerial vehicles.’
    • ‘In an airplane cockpit, pilots and crew have precise standard checks to protect the lives on-board.’
    • ‘A man was in custody yesterday after being restrained by a flight crew when he approached the cockpit of an aircraft.’
    • ‘One of the museum's main attractions is the cockpit of a Sabre aircraft.’
    • ‘The aircraft has a glass cockpit and an electronic flight control system.’
    • ‘The pilot and gunner cockpits are in a stepped tandem configuration.’
    • ‘First, think about physical flow patterns and priorities in the cockpit, beginning with pilot actions.’
    • ‘The hijackers then pistol-whipped the flight crew inside the cockpit and ordered the pilot to fly to Algiers.’
    • ‘All cockpits can accommodate two pilots, one flight engineer, one observer and one instructor.’
    1. 1.1 The driver's compartment in a racing car.
      • ‘The cockpit is far more than just the place the driver sits and drives.’
      • ‘Quite often drivers show up and get in the cockpit and don't have an appreciation really for what the owner is going through.’
      • ‘In the beginning of the race, the car just slid too much, so I was changing things in the cockpit that I have never done before with weight jackers and a lot of things.’
      • ‘For the driver the cockpit needs a bit of getting used to.’
      • ‘Instantly the whole cockpit just filled up with smoke, and I just tried to stop as fast as possible and get out.’
      • ‘One lucky fan will be chosen to sit in the cockpit of the dragster while the engine is warmed up.’
      • ‘The driver has returned to the cockpit this weekend after missing two races with a shoulder injury.’
      • ‘Each team, and often each driver, has a cockpit specifically designed to suit certain needs.’
      • ‘We have an inlet duct on top of the chassis to let some air into the cockpit.’
      • ‘A substantial chassis beam protects heavy items from moving forwards into the cockpit.’
      • ‘Because there are no timeouts other than a caution period here and there, drivers are strapped into cockpits that are more like saunas for three to four hours.’
      • ‘You just have to react as quickly as possible, and protect yourself in the cockpit.’
      • ‘Strapped into the tight confines of the cockpit the driver has only one means of non-verbal expression - wobbling his head.’
      • ‘You've been to Le Mans before, but this time you'll be in the cockpit.’
      • ‘The car looked faultless over that distance, but what was it like in the cockpit?’
      • ‘The Italian driver also relies on a guardian angel in his cockpit.’
      • ‘Chase's short, compact body fit perfectly into the cockpits of most vehicles.’
      • ‘It wasn't without difficulty though, as my gear-shift lights in the cockpit failed.’
      • ‘This time, we broke a fuel line and fuel got inside the cockpit with me.’
      • ‘I did what I could to work on the handling from the cockpit, without much luck.’
    2. 1.2 A space for the helmsman in some small yachts.
      • ‘The Challenger's centre hull has a cockpit with a sailor seat, making it possible to sail without moving around.’
  • 2A place where cockfights are held.

    • ‘Cock fighting drew crowds to the cockpits on Bootham and elsewhere.’
    1. 2.1 A place where a battle or other conflict takes place:
      ‘most conventional army training takes place on the cockpit of Salisbury Plain’
      • ‘Take this region, the cockpit of so much of world conflict today, as an example.’
      • ‘He is far from the English shires and urban heartlands that have become cockpits of the revolt against the government's plans for university top-up fees.’
      • ‘Refugees are also produced by ‘failed states’ that become cockpits for battling warlords.’
      • ‘He institutionalised the killing of captives before world leaders could make the country a cockpit of the cold war.’


Late 16th century (in cockpit): from cock + pit. cockpit dates from the early 20th century and derives from an early 18th-century nautical term denoting an area in the aft lower deck of a man-of-war where the wounded were taken, later coming to mean ‘the ‘pit’ or well from which a yacht is steered’; hence the place housing the controls of other vehicles.