[ pahy-luh-ting ]
/ ˈpaɪ lə tɪŋ /


the determination of the course or position of a ship or airplane by any of various navigational methods or devices.

Nearby words

  1. pilotage,
  2. piloted,
  3. pilotfish,
  4. pilothouse,
  5. piloti,
  6. pilotless,
  7. pilotless aircraft,
  8. pilotless ignition,
  9. pilotweed,
  10. pilous

Origin of piloting

First recorded in 1710–20; pilot + -ing1


[ pahy-luht ]
/ ˈpaɪ lət /


verb (used with object)


serving as an experimental or trial undertaking prior to full-scale operation or use: a pilot project.

Origin of pilot

1520–30; earlier pylotte < Middle French pillotte < Italian pilota, dissimilated variant of pedota < Medieval Greek *pēdṓtēs steersman, equivalent to pēd(á) rudder (plural of pēdón oar) + -ōtēs agent suffix

Related formsun·pi·lot·ed, adjectivewell-pi·lot·ed, adjective

Can be confusedPilate pilot

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for piloting

British Dictionary definitions for piloting


/ (ˈpaɪlətɪŋ) /


the navigational handling of a ship near land using buoys, soundings, landmarks, etc, or the finding of a ship's position by such means
the occupation of a pilot


/ (ˈpaɪlət) /


verb (tr)

Word Origin for pilot

C16: from French pilote, from Medieval Latin pilotus, ultimately from Greek pēdon oar; related to Greek pous foot

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 piloting
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper