- the determination of the course or position of a ship or airplane by any of various navigational methods or devices.
Origin of piloting
- a person duly qualified to steer ships into or out of a harbor or through certain difficult waters.
- a person who steers a ship.
- Aeronautics. a person duly qualified to operate an airplane, balloon, or other aircraft.
- a guide or leader: the pilot of the expedition.
- coast pilot(def 1).
- pilot light(def 1).
- Machinery. a guide for centering or otherwise positioning two adjacent parts, often consisting of a projection on one part fitting into a recess in the other.
- Railroads. cowcatcher.
- Also called pilot film, pilot tape. Television. a prototypical filmed or taped feature, produced with hopes of network adoption as a television series and aired to test potential viewer interest and attract sponsors.
- a preliminary or experimental trial or test: The school will offer a pilot of its new computer course.
- to steer.
- to lead, guide, or conduct, as through unknown places, intricate affairs, etc.
- to act as pilot on, in, or over.
- to be in charge of or responsible for: We're looking for someone to pilot the new project.
- serving as an experimental or trial undertaking prior to full-scale operation or use: a pilot project.
Origin of pilot
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for piloting
In the classic skillset of piloting, mental acuity, and its coordination with hand and foot movements, is equally vital.Flight 8501 Poses Question: Are Modern Jets Too Automated to Fly?
January 4, 2015
We are out of control, going fast and high, and someone else is piloting this vessel.The Malaysian Air Tragedy Reawakens a Primal Fear
Kelly Williams Brown
July 19, 2014
Then we cut to Ted, mid-midlife crisis, who abruptly decides to cut the jets while piloting Sunkist clients over NorCal.Mad Men’s Game-Changing Midseason Finale, “Waterloo”: One Door Closes, Another Opens
May 26, 2014
Since 2002, your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man has been piloting a billion-dollar movie franchise and merchandise empire.Grandpa in Tights: Spider-Man Hits Middle Age
August 26, 2012
Think not of JFK Jr., who died in 1999 while piloting his own plane, taking his wife and sister-in-law with him.Advice for Taylor Swift on Her Romance With Conor Kennedy
August 4, 2012
That must be it—I was piloting a rocket and cracked up somewhere on Mars.Flamedown
Horace Brown Fyfe
The inventor was piloting his ship with ceaseless concentration.
Dick, holding the light, was piloting Greg through the tunnel.The Grammar School Boys of Gridley
H. Irving Hancock
So Barny got himself paid for piloting the ship that showed him the way home.Stories of Comedy
It won't be many years before half of them will be piloting aircars.Space Viking
Henry Beam Piper
- the navigational handling of a ship near land using buoys, soundings, landmarks, etc, or the finding of a ship's position by such means
- the occupation of a pilot
- a person who is qualified to operate an aircraft or spacecraft in flight
- (as modifier)pilot error
- a person who is qualified to steer or guide a ship into or out of a port, river mouth, etc
- (as modifier)a pilot ship
- a person who steers a ship
- a person who acts as a leader or guide
- machinery a guide, often consisting of a tongue or dowel, used to assist in joining two mating parts together
- machinery a plug gauge for measuring an internal diameter
- films a colour test strip accompanying black-and-white rushes from colour originals
- an experimental programme on radio or television
- See pilot film
- (modifier) used in or serving as a test or triala pilot project
- (modifier) serving as a guidea pilot beacon
- to act as pilot of
- to control the course of
- to guide or lead (a project, people, etc)
Word Origin and History for piloting
1510s, "one who steers a ship," from Middle French pillote (16c.), from Italian piloto, supposed to be an alteration of Old Italian pedoto, which usually is said to be from Medieval Greek *pedotes "rudder, helmsman," from Greek pedon "steering oar," related to pous (genitive podos) "foot" (see foot (n.)). Change of -d- to -l- in Latin ("Sabine -l-") parallels that in odor/olfactory; see lachrymose.
Sense extended 1848 to "one who controls a balloon," and 1907 to "one who flies an airplane." As an adjective, 1788 as "pertaining to a pilot;" from 1928 as "serving as a prototype." Thus the noun pilot meaning "pilot episode" (etc.), attested from 1962. Pilot light is from 1890.