Definition of vapor trail in US English:

vapor trail

(British vapour trail)


  • A trail of condensed water from an aircraft or rocket at high altitude, seen as a white streak against the sky.

    • ‘The soldier looked up at the sky, which now was studded with vapor trails from aircraft…’
    • ‘A vapor trail appeared from beneath the right wing of Arrow Two as the missile's motor ignited.’
    • ‘The object was in site for about ten seconds and it did not make a sound and made no vapor trail.’
    • ‘‘There was no noise and no vapour trail,’ added Mr. Haworth, ‘If it had been an aircraft, we would have heard it from where we were.’’
    • ‘A vapour trail was creeping steadily across the deepening blue of the evening sky.’
    • ‘We sometimes saw his vapor trails up high or out to the side, but he did not come in.’
    • ‘The sky's just the right shade of blue, there's a bird somewhere, and far above, a jet leaves a vapour trail.’
    • ‘Down on the lake a boat leaves a rippling wake behind it as it heads towards Wanaka, mirroring the white vapour trail of an airplane that moves silently across a wide blue sky.’
    • ‘Overhead the vapour trails of American jets streaked across the washed-out winter sky.’
    • ‘High above TE3058 / 2 a shooting star plummeted through the upper atmosphere leaving a small vapor trail as had thousands before it.’
    • ‘For many the highlight of the weekend was the stunning formation flying of the Red Arrows display team who painted pictures in the skies with their red, white and blue vapour trails.’
    • ‘We formed up and headed south and could still see scores of crisscrossing vapor trails in the sunset sky off Anzio Point.’
    • ‘It moved very low, very fast and left a sort of vapour trail.’
    • ‘Bombers did not usually create a vapour trail below 25,000 feet.’
    • ‘High above them, bearing down on their position, was the unmistakable vapor trail of a guided missile.’
    • ‘If the conditions are right, ice crystals develop - the thing we see as the vapour trail.’
    • ‘We spent a few minutes yesterday using trig to work out how far away the most distant vapour trail was.’
    • ‘The vapour trails of jet planes criss crossing the skies draws my eye away from my daily routine.’
    • ‘Metadata is the vapour trail we leave behind, not something we construct’
    • ‘Airplane vapor trails streaked the sky here too - he could recognize some of the shapes as military craft.’


vapor trail

/ˈvāpər trāl/