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astronaut

[as-truh-nawt, -not]
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noun
  1. a person engaged in or trained for spaceflight.
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Origin of astronaut

1925–30; astro- + (aero)naut, probably via French astronaute; see astronautical
Can be confusedastronaut cosmonaut
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for astronaut

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Of course, ground control was to be used only if the astronaut failed to ignite the retro-rockets himself.

  • The astronaut fell victim to a psychological stress that was unforeseen.

    Ten From Infinity

    Paul W. Fairman


British Dictionary definitions for astronaut

astronaut

noun
  1. a person trained for travelling in spaceSee also cosmonaut
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Word Origin

C20: from astro- + -naut from Greek nautēs sailor, on the model of aeronaut
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 astronaut

n.

coined 1929 in science fiction, popularized from 1961 by U.S. space program, from astro- + nautes "sailor" (see naval). French astronautique (adj.) had been coined 1927 by "J.H. Rosny," pen name of Belgian-born science fiction writer Joseph Henri Honoré Boex (1856-1940) on model of aéronautique, and Astronaut was used in 1880 as the name of a fictional spaceship by English writer Percy Greg (1836-1889) in "Across the Zodiac."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

astronaut in Culture

astronaut

A crew member of a space mission launched by the United States. (See Apollo program and Mercury program.)

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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.