The Etymology of Pilot

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Essay The Etymology of Pilot

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Thorough investigation of the etymology of the word “pilot”.

This paper presents a thorough explanation of the origins and development of the word “pilot”.
“A word predating aviation potentially by thousands of years, “pilot” currently connotes the operator of an aircraft. For example, the American Heritage Dictionary defines pilot as “one who operates or is licensed to operate an aircraft in flight.” All modern English dictionaries, from the Oxford English to the Merriam-Webster to the Gage Canadian, cite aircraft in the first and primary definition of the word pilot, at least in its form as a noun. Pilot is most commonly used as a noun, to denote a person who operates a craft; when the word is used as a transitive verb its meaning tends to be more general. Like many words in the English language, pilot can be traced to more than one linguistic origin: its closest relative seems to be the French word “pilote,” which itself derives from the Italian word “pilota.” ”

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