AskDefine | Define pilot

Dictionary Definition



1 someone who is licensed to operate an aircraft in flight [syn: airplane pilot]
2 a person qualified to guide ships through difficult waters going into or out of a harbor
3 a program exemplifying a contemplated series; intended to attract sponsors [syn: pilot program, pilot film]
4 an original model on which something is patterned [syn: original, archetype]
5 small auxiliary gas burner that provides a flame to ignite a larger gas burner [syn: pilot burner, pilot light]
6 an inclined metal frame at the front of a locomotive to clear the track [syn: fender, buffer, cowcatcher]


1 fly a plane [syn: fly, aviate]
2 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?" [syn: navigate]

User Contributed Dictionary

see Pilot



From Italian piloto, from Old Italian pedota, from Medieval πηδώτης (pēdōtēs) "helmsman, steersman", from Ancient Greek πηδόν (pēdon) "blade of an oar, oar" ], hence also Ancient and Modern Greek πηδάλιον (pēdalion), "rudder" [


  1. A person who is in charge of the controls of an aircraft.
  2. A person who steers a ship, a helmsman
  3. 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.
  4. A sample episode of a proposed TV series


controller of aircraft
  • Chinese: 领航 (lǐngháng)
  • Russian: штурман
  • Swedish: styrman
person who helps navigate the harbor or coast
sample TV series episode


  1. Made or used as a test or demonstration of capability. (pilot run, pilot plant)
  2. Used to control or activate another device. (pilot light)
  3. Used to indicate operation ("pilot lamp")


made or used as a test
used as indicator


  1. To control (an aircraft or watercraft).
  2. To guide (a vessel) through coastal waters.
  3. To test or have a preliminary trial of (an idea, a new product, etc.)


to control an aircraft or watercraft
to guide through coastal waters


Derived terms



  1. a pilot, controller of aircraft



  1. pilot (controller of aircraft)
  2. remote control








  1. pilot


Related terms

Extensive Definition

Pilot can refer to:


  • Aviator, in aviation, an Aircraft pilot is someone who controls an aircraft
  • Maritime pilot, in shipping, someone who guides ships through the waters near a harbour or dangerous coastal waters. This is the original meaning.

Products and companies

  • Ford Pilot, a car
  • Honda Pilot, a Crossover SUV made by the Honda corporation.
  • Honda Pilot (ATV), an all-terrain vehicle produced by Honda in 1989 and 1990.
  • LDV Pilot, a mid-sized British van
  • Palm Pilot, the name for the second generation of personal digital assistants sold by Palm Computing; the first generation was simply the "Pilot", though "PalmPilot" is often used as slang for PalmOS devices despite the fact that Palm no longer uses the trademark on its current products
  • Pilot Travel Centers, LLC, primarily sells over-the-road diesel fuel
  • Pilot (pen company), headquarters situated in Japan; one of the world's major manufacturers of pens
  • Pilot (appliances)

Paper publications

Film and television


  • Pilot (band), a pop rock group best known for their 1975 hit songs "Magic" and "January"


Computer science


  • Pilot (experiment), a precursor to a full study
  • Pilot light, a small outlet of gas kept continually burning and generally used to light the larger burners on the appliance
  • Pilot signal, or pilot tone, in telecommunications, provided as a frequency or phase reference
  • Pilot (locomotive), the device at the front of a locomotive to deflect obstacles (also known as a cowcatcher)
  • Station pilot, a locomotive based at a major railway station for the purposes of shunting passenger coaches and vans
  • Pilot (icebreaker), the first icebreaker, built in 1864


See also

pilot in Czech: Pilot (rozcestník)
pilot in Danish: Pilot (flertydig)
pilot in German: Pilot (Begriffsklärung)
pilot in Spanish: Pilot
pilot in French: Pilote
pilot in Galician: Piloto
pilot in Korean: 파일럿
pilot in Italian: Pilot
pilot in Hebrew: פיילוט
pilot in Dutch: Pilot
pilot in Japanese: パイロット

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Gyropilot, aegis, aerialist, aeronaut, aeroplaner, aeroplanist, agent, air pilot, airman, airplanist, arm guard, astronaut, auto, automatic pilot, aviator, backstop, barnstorm, barnstormer, be responsible for, bellwether, birdman, boatheader, boatsteerer, buffer, bulwark, bumper, captain, carry on, carry out, carry through, charioteer, chart a course, cicerone, cloud seeder, commercial pilot, cond, conduct, conductor, conn, conner, contraceptive, control, copilot, copyright, courier, cowherd, cox, coxswain, crash helmet, crop-duster, cushion, cut-and-try, dashboard, deal with, dean, direct, docking pilot, dodger, doyen, dragoman, drive, driver, drover, empirical, engineer, escort, experimental, face mask, fender, finger guard, flier, fly, foot guard, functionary, fuse, goatherd, goggles, governor, guard, guardrail, guide, guidepost, guider, hand guard, handle, handler, handrail, hard hat, have the conn, helm, helmet, helmsman, herd, herdsman, heuristic, hit-or-miss, hold the reins, instructor, insulation, interlock, jet jockey, knee guard, knuckle guard, laminated glass, lead, leader, licensed pilot, life preserver, lifeline, lightning conductor, lightning rod, make go, manage, maneuver, manipulate, manipulator, mask, mercury, motor, mudguard, navigate, navigator, nose guard, operant, operate, operative, operator, pad, padding, palladium, patent, peel off, perform on, play, pointer, practice, preventive, probationary, probative, probatory, prophylactic, protective clothing, protective umbrella, proving, provisional, rainmaker, river pilot, route, run, runner, safeguard, safety, safety glass, safety plug, safety rail, safety shoes, safety switch, safety valve, sailing master, screen, seat belt, see, see to, shape a course, shepherd, shield, shin guard, show, solo, steer, steerer, steersman, stunt flier, stunt man, sun helmet, take care of, take the helm, tentative, test, test pilot, testing, tool, tour director, tour guide, trial, trial-and-error, trying, umbrella, verificatory, wheel, wheelman, windscreen, windshield, wingman, work
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