Definition of helicopter in English:



  • A type of aircraft which derives both lift and propulsion from one or more sets of horizontally revolving overhead rotors. It is capable of moving vertically and horizontally, the direction of motion being controlled by the pitch of the rotor blades.

    • ‘At least 14 helicopters were seen flying overhead in the early morning when the operation was launched.’
    • ‘We have about 121 aircraft and helicopters currently at our disposal to fight these fires.’
    • ‘There were several helicopters flying overhead, so I know that it was being filmed, but there have only been blips in the local media.’
    • ‘The couple led police to the graves last week, directing operations as a helicopter flew overhead.’
    • ‘How big a deal are these sandstorms, which could affect helicopters and other aircraft and tanks?’
    • ‘Stuart was said to be on the flight deck when he was hit by debris from the rotor blades of the helicopter.’
    • ‘Eventually the crew of the rescue helicopter saw her and lifted her into the helicopter.’
    • ‘Ground-attack aircraft and helicopters had become easier to direct than artillery.’
    • ‘The helicopter lifted off the ground, gained the proper height, and moved out towards Pakistan.’
    • ‘These motoring paparazzi have been known to use helicopters and light aircraft in pursuit of their prey.’
    • ‘Light aircraft, 60 helicopters, river boats, and hovercraft provided his mobility.’
    • ‘One of the helicopter's rotor blades had smashed into the crag, showering the rescuers with fragments of rock.’
    • ‘It was then decided to step up the hunt and deploy the helicopter and aircraft.’
    • ‘One by one, the insects march up blades of grass, waiting until dusk to lift off like miniature helicopters into the night.’
    • ‘For five days, helicopters are flying overhead, but none of them are dropping water or food down for anyone.’
    • ‘Fixed-wing commission aircraft and spotter helicopters will assist if farmers become overwhelmed.’
    • ‘The little venue is so close to the Queenstown airport that we see aircraft and helicopters landing and taking off at regular intervals.’
    • ‘By the end of the decade, some helicopters will even be capable of flying more like fixed-wing aircraft’
    • ‘Receivers in aircraft or helicopters will typically be able to receive the signals at distances up to about five miles.’
    • ‘Such a trip might be in a traditional road ambulance, or it might call for a helicopter or fixed wing aircraft.’


  • 1 Transport by helicopter.

    ‘he was helicoptered out with a bleeding ulcer’
    • ‘We understand that the president, running just about on schedule, will be giving brief remarks and speaking with reporters when he is helicoptered to the White House.’
    • ‘Poaching is a huge problem - illegal salmon caviar, for example, is helicoptered out by the ton.’
    • ‘There had been a rockslide and we had to be helicoptered off.’
    • ‘So I turned up, got issued a flak jacket and helmet, and they helicoptered me in at dawn.’
    • ‘I am helicoptered to Fairfax Hospital, when the brain guys there determine that the aneurysm looks too complex for their capabilities.’
    • ‘Food, shelter, care, medicine, prayer, infrastructure-building, and hope are all being helicoptered into Asia and Africa.’
    • ‘In Greenland, I was helicoptered up to the top of a mountain, from where you can look down on these amazing blue structures.’
    • ‘He was just helicoptered across London to the south bank of the Thames.’
    • ‘Refusing to appear in public, being helicoptered into the Palace rather than risk the streets of London - anybody would think that the leader of the free world was frightened of his own shadow.’
    • ‘After being helicoptered to hospital in Barcelona he was later flown back to the UK by air ambulance.’
    • ‘The pilot was helicoptered out to the hospital.’
    • ‘He was helicoptered to a hospital but did not make it.’
    • ‘Presumably, they would also prohibit helicoptering participants and visitors into racing venues and other sporting events.’
    • ‘They were all helicoptered out and spent their last few days near the finish line, cheering on the teams who made it to the end.’
    • ‘So we slept in wet clothes, and before long one of the historians had to be helicoptered off the ship with severe pneumonia.’
    • ‘Also, the large blocks of limestone that held the fossil - some of them weighing 4,000 kg - had to be helicoptered out of the remote location.’
    • ‘Perhaps that explained the sense of pride and accomplishment at Friday's opening ceremony, when the Princess Royal was helicoptered into town and met by local dignitaries and fund-raisers.’
    • ‘Nor, it seems, were the judges convinced, despite being helicoptered round the isles and shown a collection of stuffed Highland animals.’
    • ‘A former first Lady Nancy Reagan was helicoptered to the ship just before it arrived.’
    • ‘The couple's lawyer said credit card transactions and telephone records would show they could not have been in Ilford, Essex, on May 5 ‘unless they were helicoptered out’.’
    1. 1.1[no object, with adverbial of direction]Fly somewhere in a helicopter.
      ‘they were helicoptering daily between Bath and London’
      • ‘As the series of leaked memos shows, by the time Blair helicoptered into Bush's ranch on April 5, he had been left in little doubt as to the concerns of his backbench MPs, cabinet colleagues and expert advisers.’
      • ‘American commandos helicoptered to remote locations to dig up and sever telecommunications cables.’
      • ‘After he was done not wasting taxpayer money, the President helicoptered to France where he participated in commemoration activities.’
      • ‘So it was with little hope that the searchers helicoptered to the west face.’
      • ‘It was much different to when I did Alive, where we had to helicopter in every day with the crew and equipment.’
      • ‘The day began with a committee lunch at the Woodlands Hotel, to which the two stars, along with their management team, helicoptered in.’
      • ‘And in just a short while, the president will be helicoptering to that carrier.’
      • ‘David helicoptered back to London, while the rest of the team headed off for a barbecue, organised by Christian Horner.’
      • ‘Another group helicoptered to a boggy lakebed near the range's high point.’
      • ‘You've even helicoptered over the crater.’
      • ‘Beatrix herself helicoptered in during construction several years ago, and there are long waiting lists to buy property there.’
      • ‘We finally put him down when the doctors helicoptered in to help.’
      • ‘Of course, what happened was that he helicoptered to that Federated Farmers meeting, did not have time to shake hands with anybody, read his speech, hopped in the helicopter, and went again.’
      • ‘There was no such frippery for Michael, who helicoptered back to Italy.’
      • ‘Peterson describes how he and a small group of colleagues helicoptered in to rescue four newborn babies from a hospital there.’


Late 19th century: from French hélicoptère, from Greek helix spiral + pteron wing.