See more synonyms for aerodynamics on
noun (used with a singular verb)
  1. the branch of mechanics that deals with the motion of air and other gases and with the effects of such motion on bodies in the medium.Compare aerostatics(def 1).

Origin of aerodynamics

First recorded in 1830–40; aero- + dynamics
Related formsaer·o·dy·nam·ic, aer·o·dy·nam·i·cal, adjectiveaer·o·dy·nam·i·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for aerodynamics

aeronautics, navigation, flight, aerodynamics, piloting

Examples from the Web for aerodynamics

Contemporary Examples of aerodynamics

Historical Examples of aerodynamics

  • It was about this time that he began his experiments in "aerodynamics."

    The Age of Invention

    Holland Thompson

  • We had classes everyday on engines, aerodynamics, and air craft identification.

  • The development of a new forage harvester based on principles of aerodynamics uncovered by missile engineers is another example.

    The Practical Values of Space Exploration

    Committee on Science and Astronautics

  • He knew very little about the laws of aerodynamics, about stress and strain and factors of safety.

    The Romance of Aircraft

    Lawrence Yard Smith

British Dictionary definitions for aerodynamics


  1. (functioning as singular) the study of the dynamics of gases, esp of the forces acting on a body passing through airCompare aerostatics (def. 1)
Derived Formsaerodynamic, adjectiveaerodynamically, adverbaerodynamicist, noun
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

Word Origin and History for aerodynamics

1837, from aero- "air" + dynamics.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

aerodynamics in Science


  1. The study of the movement of air and other gases. Aerodynamics includes the study of the interactions of air with moving objects, such as airplanes, and of the effects of moving air on stationary objects, such as buildings.
A Closer Look: The two primary forces in aerodynamics are lift and drag. Lift refers to (usually upward) forces perpendicular to the direction of motion of an object traveling through the air. For example, airplane wings are designed so that their movement through the air creates an area of low pressure above the wing and an area of high pressure beneath it; the pressure difference produces the lift needed for flight. This effect is typical of airfoil design. Drag forces are parallel and opposite to the object's direction of motion and are caused largely by friction. Large wings can create a significant amount of lift, but they do so with the expense of generating a great deal of drag. Spoilers that are extended on airplane wings upon the vehicle's landing exploit this tradeoff by making the wings capable of high lift even at low speeds; low landing speeds then still provide enough lift for a gentle touchdown. Aeronautical engineers need to take into account such factors as the speed and altitude at which their designs will fly (lower air pressures at high altitudes reduce both lift and drag) in order to optimally balance lift and drag in varying conditions.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

aerodynamics in Culture


The branch of science devoted to the study of the flow of gases around solid objects. It is especially important in the design of cars and airplanes, which move through the air.


A vehicle that has been built to minimize friction with the air is said to be aerodynamically designed.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.