‘Aeroplane' vs 'Airplane': What's the Difference?

By Shanea Patterson, updated on February 3, 2023

Should you spell it ‘aeroplane’ or ‘airplane’? And what’s the difference between the two words? We’ll answer that in detail below, plus teach you how to pronounce the word and use the correct spelling in a sentence.

In short, the difference is:

  • ‘Aeroplane’ is the British English spelling of the word.
  • ‘Airplane’ is the American English spelling of the word.

They both refer to an aircraft that can fly.

Is There a Difference Between Aircraft, ‘Airplane’ and ‘Aeroplane’?

As we just discussed briefly, the difference between these words is that ‘airplane’ is the American English spelling of the word. ‘Aeroplane’ is the British English spelling of the word.

But what about aircraft?

Well, aircraft refers to anything that can fly, such as a helicopter, a hot air balloon, a drone, or an airplane.

Therefore, you can use ‘airplane’ and ‘aeroplane’ interchangeably if your audience happens to change.

‘Aeroplane’ vs. ‘Airplane’ – What’s the Difference?

We know the only difference between these words is the spelling and the audience for each word.

The former is the British English spelling of the word, and the latter is the American English spelling of the word.

Definition and Meaning of ‘Aeroplane’ and ‘Airplane’

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of these words is a heavy aircraft with fixed wings.

An airplane is made up of several parts that help it fly, which includes the engine, the wings, and the tabs.

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce ‘Aeroplane’ and ‘Airplane’

Wondering how to pronounce these words? Here’s a short guide.

  • To pronounce these words correctly here’s the phonetic spelling: AIR-UH-playn

How to Use ‘Aeroplane’ and ‘Airplane’ in a Sentence

Now that we know what the words mean and how to pronounce them let’s see some examples of how to use them in a sentence correctly.

  • I wonder if my niece has ever been on an airplane before. She’s only two.
  • That airplane is huge. I’ve never seen one up close before.
  • When the airplane is about to take off, everyone should steer clear of the runway.
  • I wasn’t sure if they were going to let me board the airplane with my rabbit.
  • We’ve been on the airplane for an hour, and this is the first time I’ve smelled that. What is it?
  • Kelsey said she wanted to go on an airplane to New York City, but we only lived two hours away. We can just drive.

Remember that these words can be used interchangeably because they mean the exact same thing. So, if your audience changes, feel free to swap out one word for the other.

Concluding Advice on ‘Aeroplane’ and ‘Airplane’

To recap, we learned that the difference between the words is:

  • ‘Aeroplane’ is the British English spelling of the word.
  • ‘Airplane’ is the American English spelling of the word.

They both mean an aircraft that can fly.

If you ever get stuck on usage or meaning, you can always come back to refresh your memory. We’ve got a ton of other content on confusing words and phrases you might come across while learning the language. Feel free to check it out.

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Written By:
Shanea Patterson
Shanea Patterson is a writer based in New York and loves writing for brands big and small. She has a master's degree in professional writing from New York University and a bachelor's degree in English from Mercy College.

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