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.’
    • ‘First, think about physical flow patterns and priorities in the cockpit, beginning with pilot actions.’
    • ‘All cockpits can accommodate two pilots, one flight engineer, one observer and one instructor.’
    • ‘There was more discussion in the cockpit about which aircraft made it in and which didn't.’
    • ‘That's when someone opened the escape hatch on top of the aircraft in the cockpit, he said.’
    • ‘On a flight a while back I was able to listen to the pilots in the cockpit.’
    • ‘The aircraft has a glass cockpit and an electronic flight control system.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I was helplessly trapped in the cockpit with the aircraft lying on its starboard side.’
    • ‘A man was in custody yesterday after being restrained by a flight crew when he approached the cockpit of an aircraft.’
    • ‘With the proliferation in business aircraft of glass cockpits and automated flight controls, traditional techniques to train professional pilots are inevitably evolving.’
    • ‘A pilot can obtain clearance on a screen in the cockpit before calling ground control to get taxi instructions for takeoff.’
    • ‘One of the museum's main attractions is the cockpit of a Sabre aircraft.’
    • ‘In-flight refuelling gear is installed in the top centre line of the aircraft behind the cockpit.’
    • ‘The hijackers then pistol-whipped the flight crew inside the cockpit and ordered the pilot to fly to Algiers.’
    • ‘In an airplane cockpit, pilots and crew have precise standard checks to protect the lives on-board.’
    • ‘We always had one or more qualified pilots in cockpits.’
    • ‘The pilot and gunner cockpits are in a stepped tandem configuration.’
    • ‘The camera would be positioned in the passenger compartment and its image viewed by pilots in the cockpit on an LCD.’
    1. 1.1 The driver's compartment in a racing car.
      • ‘You've been to Le Mans before, but this time you'll be in the cockpit.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Chase's short, compact body fit perfectly into the cockpits of most vehicles.’
      • ‘For the driver the cockpit needs a bit of getting used to.’
      • ‘Quite often drivers show up and get in the cockpit and don't have an appreciation really for what the owner is going through.’
      • ‘The cockpit is far more than just the place the driver sits and drives.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I did what I could to work on the handling from the cockpit, without much luck.’
      • ‘Strapped into the tight confines of the cockpit the driver has only one means of non-verbal expression - wobbling his head.’
      • ‘You just have to react as quickly as possible, and protect yourself in the cockpit.’
      • ‘It wasn't without difficulty though, as my gear-shift lights in the cockpit failed.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘One lucky fan will be chosen to sit in the cockpit of the dragster while the engine is warmed up.’
      • ‘Instantly the whole cockpit just filled up with smoke, and I just tried to stop as fast as possible and get out.’
      • ‘This time, we broke a fuel line and fuel got inside the cockpit with me.’
    2. 1.2 A space for the helmsman in some small yachts.
      • ‘While on the boat try to stay in the cockpit or on the deck - going below deck will certainly cause at least slight nausea.’
      • ‘All sail controls are led aft to the cockpit concealed under fiberglass panels so that there is nothing to foul or trip over.’
      • ‘The sheer was stepped down six inches at the aft end of the cabin trunk resulting in a more open cockpit.’
      • ‘The area aft of the windshield is split between a slightly raised bridge deck and cockpit.’
      • ‘She was kneeling in the boat's compact cockpit watching carefully ahead for any telltale clues on the water that dangerous rocks lay just out of sight below the surface.’
      • ‘He, along with Lewis and Jesse, were the only crew members left in the cockpit.’
      • ‘The fisherman stepped up into the nearby boat cockpit and switched on a small TV set.’
      • ‘The foredeck, side decks and entire cockpit are molded as one component to avoid joints that can fail.’
      • ‘The boat is almost evenly divided between cabin space and open cockpit.’
      • ‘The cockpit is small with the seats at deck level and the 16-inch deep foot well.’
      • ‘He nodded to the prep crew and hopped up into the sleek ship's cockpit.’
      • ‘The power cord now was plugged in, and my shipmate was in the cockpit, waiting on me to turn on the power.’
      • ‘The Challenger's centre hull has a cockpit with a sailor seat, making it possible to sail without moving around.’
      • ‘I pushed him further by saying that it is folly to buy anything electronic that will be used in the cockpit of a sailboat if it is not waterproof.’
      • ‘Before the operation I had been unable to see the bow of our boat from the cockpit.’
      • ‘On most boats of this size and type it is difficult to reach the foredeck from the cockpit by way of the side decks.’
      • ‘Access to the foredeck from the cockpit can be challenging via the normal side deck path.’
      • ‘I could see the wooden boom wavering and dove from the front of the boat into the cockpit.’
      • ‘The side decks along the truck cabin, cabin house and cockpit are at least 12 inches at any point allowing for very sure footing.’
      • ‘On deck, the T-shaped cockpit with pedestal-mounted wheel steering offers comfortable seating for five adults.’
      • ‘Boats stored ashore are especially prone to having pooling water on the deck and cockpit, which can stain the boat.’
  • 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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Take this region, the cockpit of so much of world conflict today, as an example.’
      • ‘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 (sense 2)): from cock + pit. cockpit (sense 1) 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.