Share this entry

Share this page

cockpit

Line breaks: cock|pit
Pronunciation: /ˈkɒkpɪt
 
/

Definition of cockpit in English:

noun

1A compartment for the pilot, and sometimes also the crew, in an aircraft or spacecraft.
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.
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.
Example sentences
  • 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.
Example sentences
  • 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
More example sentences
  • 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.

Origin

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.

Definition of cockpit in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day prepotent
Pronunciation: prɪˈpəʊt(ə)nt
adjective
greater than others in power or influence