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[yoo-ef-oh or, sometimes, yoo-foh] /ˈyuˈɛfˈoʊ or, sometimes, ˈyu foʊ/
noun, plural UFO's, UFOs.
any unexplained moving object observed in the sky, especially one assumed by some observers to be of extraterrestrial origin.
Also called unidentified flying object.
Compare flying saucer.
Origin of UFO
1950-55; u(nidentified) f(lying) o(bject) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for UFO


/sometimes ˈjuːfəʊ/
unidentified flying object
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for UFO

1953, abbreviation of Unidentified Flying Object, which is attested from 1950.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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UFO in Culture
UFO [(yooh-ef-oh)]

An abbreviation for “Unidentified Flying Object.” Often described as “flying saucers,” some UFOs are believed to come from other planets or galaxies and thus support the idea that human beings are not the only form of intelligent life in the universe. Few scientists agree.

UFO [(yooh-ef-oh)]

The abbreviation for unidentified flying object. Sometimes referred to colloquially as “flying saucers.” Most UFO sightings have prosaic explanations; there is no hard evidence that extraterrestrial beings are visiting Earth.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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