• (British) IPA: /ˈpaɪlət/

pilot (plural pilots)

  1. A person who steers a ship, a helmsman.
    • 1697, John Dryden, The Works of Virgil, The Aeneid Book One
      They scud before the wind, and sail in open sea. / Ahead of all the master pilot steers; / And, as he leads, the following navy veers.
  2. A person who knows well the depths and currents of a harbor or coastal area, who is hired by a vessel to help navigate the harbor or coast.
  3. A guide book for maritime navigation.
  4. An instrument for detecting the compass error.
  5. (AU, road transport, informal) A pilot vehicle.
  6. (AU, road transport) A person authorised to drive such a vehicle during an escort.
  7. A guide or escort through an unknown or dangerous area.
    • 1834, David Crockett, A Narrative of the Life of David Crockett, E. L. Cary and A. Hart, page 43 ↗:
      So we mounted our horses, and put out for that town, under the direction of two friendly Creeks we had taken for pilots.
  8. Something serving as a test or trial.
    We would like to run a pilot in your facility before rolling out the program citywide.
    1. (mining) The heading or excavation of relatively small dimensions, first made in the driving of a larger tunnel.
  9. (aviation) A person who is in charge of the controls of an aircraft.
  10. (television) A sample episode of a proposed TV series produced to decide if it should be made or not. If approved, typically the first episode of an actual TV series.
  11. (rail transport) A cowcatcher.
  12. A pilot light.
  13. One who flies a kite.
  14. A short plug, sometimes made interchangeable, at the end of a counterbore to guide the tool.
Translations Translations
  • Russian: шту́рман
Translations Translations
  • French: programme pilote
  • Portuguese: piloto
  • Russian: пило́т
  • Spanish: piloto

pilot (not comparable)

  1. Made or used as a test or demonstration of capability.
    a pilot run of the new factory
    The pilot plant showed the need for major process changes.
  2. Used to control or activate another device.
    a pilot light
  3. Being a vehicle to warn other road users of the presence of an oversize vehicle/combination.
    a pilot vehicle
Translations Verb

pilot (pilots, present participle piloting; past and past participle piloted)

  1. (transitive) To control (an aircraft or watercraft).
  2. (transitive) To guide (a vessel) through coastal waters.
  3. (transitive) To test or have a preliminary trial of (an idea, a new product, etc.)
Translations Translations Translations

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