[ kok-pit ]
/ ˈkɒkˌpɪt /


a space, usually enclosed, in the forward fuselage of an airplane containing the flying controls, instrument panel, and seats for the pilot and copilot or flight crew.
a sunken, open area, generally in the after part of a small vessel, as a yacht, providing space for the pilot, part or all of the crew, or guests.
the space, including the seat and instrumentation, surrounding the driver of an automobile.
a pit or enclosed place for cockfights.
a place where a contest is fought or which has been the scene of many contests or battles.
(formerly) a space below the water line in a warship, occupied by the quarters of the junior officers and used as a dressing station for those wounded in action.

Nearby words

  1. cockloft,
  2. cockney,
  3. cockney bream,
  4. cockneyfy,
  5. cockneyism,
  6. cockroach,
  7. cockscomb,
  8. cocksfoot,
  9. cockshot,
  10. cockshut

Origin of cockpit

First recorded in 1580–90; cock1 + pit1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cockpit

British Dictionary definitions for cockpit


/ (ˈkɒkˌpɪt) /


the compartment in a small aircraft in which the pilot, crew, and sometimes the passengers sitCompare flight deck (def. 1)
the driver's compartment in a racing car
  1. an enclosed or recessed area towards the stern of a small vessel from which it is steered
  2. (formerly) an apartment in a warship used as quarters for junior officers and as a first-aid station during combat
the site of numerous battles or campaigns
an enclosure used for cockfights
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 cockpit



1580s, "a pit for fighting cocks," from cock (n.1) + pit (n.1). Used in nautical sense (1706) for midshipmen's compartment below decks; transferred to airplanes (1914) and to cars (1930s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper