- 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 for pilot on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for piloted
The U-2 that left Pakistan that day was piloted by a former Air Force captain, Francis Gary Powers.Russia’s Missiles Stung the World Long Before MH17
July 20, 2014
Public use of piloted UAS operations are approved on a "case-by-case basis," it reads.Are Amazon’s Drone Plans Just a Fantasy?
December 2, 2013
The Wisconsin Badgers are piloted by Buckingham U. Badger, who goes by Bucky.The Dummies’ Guide to College Football Bowl Games
January 1, 2013
The next generation of narco subs, Montoya says, will be piloted remotely like unmanned aerial vehicles.Drug War at Sea: Rise of the Narco Subs
May 13, 2012
Hence the concession, and hence the appearance of Flora, piloted in by the man, man.Little Dorrit
He saw a figure, larger than the human, that walked among the clouds, and piloted the storm.Imogen
The captain had not piloted any new boarders to the High Cliff.Thankful's Inheritance
Joseph C. Lincoln
Never seen him before in any ship I piloted in or out all these years.Tales Of Hearsay
In the cañon below, Jones, as he piloted her to the subway, pulled at his gloves.The Paliser case
- 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 piloted
1945, past participle adjective from pilot (v.).
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.