Definition of cockpit in English:


Line breaks: cock|pit
Pronunciation: /ˈkɒkpɪt


  • 1A compartment for the pilot, and sometimes also the crew, in an aircraft or spacecraft.
    More example sentences
    • Today, the Air Force involuntarily removes young pilots from the cockpits of manned aircraft for 36 months to ‘fly’ unmanned aerial vehicles.
    • With the proliferation in business aircraft of glass cockpits and automated flight controls, traditional techniques to train professional pilots are inevitably evolving.
    • The aircraft has a glass cockpit and an electronic flight control system.
  • 1.1The driver’s compartment in a racing car.
    More example sentences
    • Strapped into the tight confines of the cockpit the driver has only one means of non-verbal expression - wobbling his head.
    • One lucky fan will be chosen to sit in the cockpit of the dragster while the engine is warmed up.
    • Because there are no timeouts other than a caution period here and there, drivers are strapped into cockpits that are more like saunas for three to four hours.
  • 1.2A space for the helmsman in some small yachts.
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    • The Challenger's centre hull has a cockpit with a sailor seat, making it possible to sail without moving around.
  • 2A place where cockfights are held.
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    • Cock fighting drew crowds to the cockpits on Bootham and elsewhere.
  • 2.1A place where a battle or other conflict takes place: most conventional army training takes place on the cockpit of Salisbury Plain
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    • Refugees are also produced by ‘failed states’ that become cockpits for battling warlords.
    • He is far from the English shires and urban heartlands that have become cockpits of the revolt against the government's plans for university top-up fees.
    • Take this region, the cockpit of so much of world conflict today, as an example.


late 16th century (in sense 2): from cock1 + pit1. sense 1 dates from the early 20th century and derives from an early 18th-cent. nautical term denoting an area in the aft lower deck of a man-of-war where the wounded were taken, later coming to mean 'the ‘pit’ or well from which a yacht is steered'; hence the place housing the controls of other vehicles.

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