Definition of ornithopter in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɔːnɪˌθɒptə/


chiefly historical
A machine designed to achieve flight by means of flapping wings.
Example sentences
  • In collaboration with SRI International in Menlo Park, California, they are developing ornithopters - aircraft that get all of their thrust and most of their lift from flapping wings.
  • He said that although the Canadian ornithopter was powered by an engine it was still very close to what Da Vinci had intended.
  • He developed prototypes for mass-produceable goods, and worked on the quixotic Letatlin, a design for an ornithopter.


Early 20th century: coined in French as ornithoptère.

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