What does Pilot mean?

Definitions for Pilot
ˈpaɪ lətpi·lot

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word Pilot.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. pilot, airplane pilotnoun

    someone who is licensed to operate an aircraft in flight

  2. pilotnoun

    a person qualified to guide ships through difficult waters going into or out of a harbor

  3. pilot program, pilot film, pilotnoun

    a program exemplifying a contemplated series; intended to attract sponsors

  4. original, archetype, pilotnoun

    something that serves as a model or a basis for making copies

    "this painting is a copy of the original"

  5. pilot burner, pilot light, pilotnoun

    small auxiliary gas burner that provides a flame to ignite a larger gas burner

  6. fender, buffer, cowcatcher, pilotverb

    an inclined metal frame at the front of a locomotive to clear the track

  7. fly, aviate, pilotverb

    operate an airplane

    "The pilot flew to Cuba"

  8. navigate, pilotverb

    act as the navigator in a car, plane, or vessel and plan, direct, plot the path and position of the conveyance

    "Is anyone volunteering to navigate during the trip?"; "Who was navigating the ship during the accident?"


  1. Pilotnoun

    (Television) a filmed or taped episode of a proposed television series, produced as an example of the series. It may be shown only to those television broadcast executives who may decide whether to buy the rights to the series, or aired to test viewer reaction or to interest sponsors. Also called pilot film or pilot tape.

  2. Pilotnoun



  1. pilotnoun

    A person who steers a ship, a helmsman.

  2. pilotnoun

    A person who knows well the depths and currents of a harbor or coastal area, who is hired by a vessel to help navigate the harbor or coast.

  3. pilotnoun

    A guide or escort through an unknown or dangerous area.

  4. pilotnoun

    A person who is in charge of the controls of an aircraft.

  5. pilotnoun

    A sample episode of a proposed TV series

  6. pilotnoun

    A cowcatcher.

  7. pilotnoun

    A pilot light.

  8. pilotverb

    To control (an aircraft or watercraft).

  9. pilotverb

    To guide (a vessel) through coastal waters.

  10. pilotverb

    To test or have a preliminary trial of (an idea, a new product, etc.)

  11. pilotadjective

    Made or used as a test or demonstration of capability. (pilot run, pilot plant)

  12. pilotadjective

    Used to control or activate another device.

  13. pilotadjective

    Used to indicate operation ("pilot lamp")

  14. Etymology: From pilot, pillot, from piloto, from pillottus; perhaps ultimately from πηδόν, hence also Ancient and Modern Greek πηδάλιον (pēdalion), "rudder".

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. PILOTnoun

    He whose office is to steer the ship.

    Etymology: pilote, Fr. piloot, Dutch.

    When her keel ploughs hell,
    And deck knocks heaven; then to manage her,
    Becomes the name and office of a pilot. Ben Jonson.

    To death I with such joy resort,
    As seamen from a tempest to their port;
    Yet to that port ourselves we must not force,
    Before our pilot, nature, steers our course. John Denham.

    What port can such a pilot find,
    Who in the night of fate must blindly steer? Dryden.

    The Roman fleet, although built by shipwrights, and conducted by pilots without experience, defeated that of the Carthaginians. John Arbuthnot, on Coins.

  2. To Pilotverb

    To steer; to direct in the course.

    Etymology: from the noun.


  1. PILOT

    Pilot is a song by American rapper 50 Cent, released on March 25, 2014, as the third single from his album Animal Ambition. It is the only single off the album to chart on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles Chart.


  1. pilot

    A pilot is a person who operates the flying controls of an aircraft. This could be for various purposes such as commercial flights, military operations, or private travel. In a broader context, a pilot can also refer to a person who guides or leads something such as a project or initiative. Furthermore, in television or radio, a pilot is a prototype episode that is made to sell a proposed series to a network.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Pilotnoun

    one employed to steer a vessel; a helmsman; a steersman

  2. Pilotnoun

    specifically, a person duly qualified, and licensed by authority, to conduct vessels into and out of a port, or in certain waters, for a fixed rate of fees

  3. Pilotnoun

    figuratively: A guide; a director of another through a difficult or unknown course

  4. Pilotnoun

    an instrument for detecting the compass error

  5. Pilotnoun

    the cowcatcher of a locomotive

  6. Pilotverb

    to direct the course of, as of a ship, where navigation is dangerous

  7. Pilotverb

    figuratively: To guide, as through dangers or difficulties

  8. Etymology: [F. pilote, prob. from D. peillood plummet, sounding lead; peilen, pegelen, to sound, measure (fr. D. & G. peil, pegel, a sort of measure, water mark) + lood lead, akin to E. lead. The pilot, then, is the lead man, i. e., he who throws the lead. See Pail, and Lead a metal.]


  1. PILOT

    Programmed Instruction, Learning, Or Teaching is a simple historic programming language developed in the 1960s. Like its younger sibling LOGO, it was an early foray into the technology of computer assisted instruction.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Pilot

    pī′lut, n. the steersman of a ship: one who conducts ships in and out of a harbour, along a dangerous coast, &c.: a guide.—v.t. to conduct as a pilot: to direct through dangerous places.—ns. Pī′lotage, the skill of a pilot: the act of piloting: the fee or wages of pilots; Pī′lot-boat, a boat used by pilots for meeting or leaving ships; Pī′lot-cloth, a coarse, stout kind of cloth for overcoats; Pī′lot-en′gine, a locomotive engine sent on before a train to clear its way, as a pilot; Pī′lot-fish, a fish of the mackerel family, so called from its having been supposed to guide sharks to their prey; Pī′lot-flag, the flag hoisted at the fore by a vessel needing a pilot; Pī′lot-house, an enclosed place on deck to shelter the steering-gear and the pilot—also Wheel-house; Pī′lot-jack′et, a pea-jacket worn by seamen; Pī′lot-whale, the caaing-whale (q.v.). [Fr. pilote—Dut. piloot, from peilen, to sound, loot (Ger. loth, Eng. lead), a sounding-lead.]

Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms

  1. pilot

    A rough overlay to a map made by the pilot of a photographic reconnaissance aircraft during or immediately after a sortie. It shows the location, direction, number, and order of photographic runs made, together with the camera(s) used on each run.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. pilot

    An experienced person charged with the ship's course near the coasts, into roads, rivers, &c., and through all intricate channels, in his own particular district.--Branch pilot. One who is duly authorized by the Trinity board to pilot ships of the largest draft.

Editors Contribution

  1. pilot

    A person with the accurate and specific ability, experience, knowledge, skills, training and qualifications to fly an aircraft.

    The pilot was well trained and always flew safely.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 1, 2020  

  2. pilot

    To use data, information, facts, research, statistics, technology and proof to confirm the ability, priority and capacity to create a specific plan, project, program, scheme, standard, legislation or specific outcome.

    There are many pilot projects which are an intelligent idea to ensure they work efficiently and effectively and then are created on a regional or national level.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 15, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. pilot

    Song lyrics by pilot -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by pilot on the Lyrics.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. PILOT

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Pilot is ranked #18423 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Pilot surname appeared 1,503 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 1 would have the surname Pilot.

    67.6% or 1,017 total occurrences were White.
    23.9% or 360 total occurrences were Black.
    4.5% or 69 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    2% or 30 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    1.1% or 17 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.
    0.6% or 10 total occurrences were Asian.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Pilot' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #3123

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Pilot' in Nouns Frequency: #1066

How to pronounce Pilot?

How to say Pilot in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of Pilot in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of Pilot in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of Pilot in a Sentence

  1. Matthew Sweeny:

    We just conducted the first FAA approved multi-drone deliveries under the fast-track program. This is a huge milestone because a single Flirtey pilot has flown multiple delivery drones simultaneously.

  2. Federal Aviation Association:

    A single-engine Piper PA-24 crashed in a residential area in New Hudson, Mich., about 4 p.m. local time today. Contact local authorities for information on the condition and identity of the pilot and any passengers. There is no report of injuries on the ground, the FAA will release the aircraft tail number when The FAA is verified at the accident scene. The Federal Aviation Association and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate. The NTSB will be in charge of the investigation and will provide additional updates. Neither agency identifies people involved in aircraft accidents.

  3. Peter Coker:

    This is built around safety from the start, reliability is the most important element of it. We have safety built into the actual structure itself. Very similar to a Formula One racing car, and finally what we actually have is a new ballistic parachute that is the basis of recognizing the way that we can be as safe as we possibly can. It opens at very low altitude and actually saves both the aircraft and the pilot in an emergency.

  4. Peter DeFazio:

    After the pilot has tried to correct, the MCAS is going to not keep repeating itself, which is what it does now. It keep triggering automatically and the pilot has to do it again, it will essentially shut itself off.

  5. Peter Bartos:

    It is mind-boggling that on average one U.S. pilot a month is caught trying to fly a passenger aircraft while over the legal limit for flying, which at 0.04 percent, is more restrictive than for driving a car in many states, especially given that they know they are subject to screening, it also means that others are n’t caught, since it is not a mandatory test for all pilots on every flight.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for Pilot

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"Pilot." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 24 May 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/Pilot>.

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