Definition of cockpit in English:


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

    ‘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.’
    • ‘The hijackers then pistol-whipped the flight crew inside the cockpit and ordered the pilot to fly to Algiers.’
    • ‘Scientists are looking at advanced voice control aspects of the cockpit, where a pilot will simply tell the aircraft what to do.’
    • ‘A pilot can obtain clearance on a screen in the cockpit before calling ground control to get taxi instructions for takeoff.’
    • ‘I was helplessly trapped in the cockpit with the aircraft lying on its starboard side.’
    • ‘That's when someone opened the escape hatch on top of the aircraft in the cockpit, he said.’
    • ‘All cockpits can accommodate two pilots, one flight engineer, one observer and one instructor.’
    • ‘He could be working inside the cockpit, the crew compartment or outside checking the tire temperatures after a brake test.’
    • ‘In an airplane cockpit, pilots and crew have precise standard checks to protect the lives on-board.’
    • ‘In-flight refuelling gear is installed in the top centre line of the aircraft behind the cockpit.’
    • ‘One of the museum's main attractions is the cockpit of a Sabre aircraft.’
    • ‘There was more discussion in the cockpit about which aircraft made it in and which didn't.’
    • ‘A man was in custody yesterday after being restrained by a flight crew when he approached the cockpit of an aircraft.’
    • ‘The camera would be positioned in the passenger compartment and its image viewed by pilots in the cockpit on an LCD.’
    • ‘We always had one or more qualified pilots in cockpits.’
    • ‘The pilot and gunner cockpits are in a stepped tandem configuration.’
    • ‘First, think about physical flow patterns and priorities in the cockpit, beginning with pilot actions.’
    • ‘On a flight a while back I was able to listen to the pilots in the cockpit.’
    1. 1.1A compartment for the driver in a racing car.
      ‘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.’
      • ‘Quite often drivers show up and get in the cockpit and don't have an appreciation really for what the owner is going through.’
      • ‘Each team, and often each driver, has a cockpit specifically designed to suit certain needs.’
      • ‘For the driver the cockpit needs a bit of getting used to.’
      • ‘The cockpit is far more than just the place the driver sits and drives.’
      • ‘The Italian driver also relies on a guardian angel in his cockpit.’
      • ‘A substantial chassis beam protects heavy items from moving forwards into the cockpit.’
      • ‘We have an inlet duct on top of the chassis to let some air into the cockpit.’
      • ‘The driver has returned to the cockpit this weekend after missing two races with a shoulder injury.’
      • ‘Instantly the whole cockpit just filled up with smoke, and I just tried to stop as fast as possible and get out.’
      • ‘In the beginning of the race, the car just slid too much, so I was changing things in the cockpit that I have never done before with weight jackers and a lot of things.’
      • ‘You've been to Le Mans before, but this time you'll be in the cockpit.’
      • ‘This time, we broke a fuel line and fuel got inside the cockpit with me.’
      • ‘The car looked faultless over that distance, but what was it like in the cockpit?’
      • ‘I did what I could to work on the handling from the cockpit, without much luck.’
      • ‘It wasn't without difficulty though, as my gear-shift lights in the cockpit failed.’
      • ‘You just have to react as quickly as possible, and protect yourself in the cockpit.’
      • ‘Chase's short, compact body fit perfectly into the cockpits of most vehicles.’
    2. 1.2A sunken area in the after deck of a boat providing space for members of the crew.
      ‘Boats stored ashore are especially prone to having pooling water on the deck and cockpit, which can stain the boat.’
      • ‘The foredeck, side decks and entire cockpit are molded as one component to avoid joints that can fail.’
      • ‘The area aft of the windshield is split between a slightly raised bridge deck and cockpit.’
      • ‘The fisherman stepped up into the nearby boat cockpit and switched on a small TV set.’
      • ‘On deck, the T-shaped cockpit with pedestal-mounted wheel steering offers comfortable seating for five adults.’
      • ‘The boat is almost evenly divided between cabin space and open cockpit.’
      • ‘Before the operation I had been unable to see the bow of our boat from the cockpit.’
      • ‘She was kneeling in the boat's compact cockpit watching carefully ahead for any telltale clues on the water that dangerous rocks lay just out of sight below the surface.’
      • ‘The side decks along the truck cabin, cabin house and cockpit are at least 12 inches at any point allowing for very sure footing.’
      • ‘While on the boat try to stay in the cockpit or on the deck - going below deck will certainly cause at least slight nausea.’
      • ‘He, along with Lewis and Jesse, were the only crew members left in the cockpit.’
      • ‘I could see the wooden boom wavering and dove from the front of the boat into the cockpit.’
      • ‘The sheer was stepped down six inches at the aft end of the cabin trunk resulting in a more open cockpit.’
      • ‘All sail controls are led aft to the cockpit concealed under fiberglass panels so that there is nothing to foul or trip over.’
      • ‘He nodded to the prep crew and hopped up into the sleek ship's cockpit.’
      • ‘On most boats of this size and type it is difficult to reach the foredeck from the cockpit by way of the side decks.’
      • ‘Access to the foredeck from the cockpit can be challenging via the normal side deck path.’
      • ‘The cockpit is small with the seats at deck level and the 16-inch deep foot well.’
      • ‘I pushed him further by saying that it is folly to buy anything electronic that will be used in the cockpit of a sailboat if it is not waterproof.’
      • ‘The power cord now was plugged in, and my shipmate was in the cockpit, waiting on me to turn on the power.’
  • 2A place where cockfights are held.

    • ‘Cock fighting drew crowds to the cockpits on Bootham and elsewhere.’
    1. 2.1A place where a battle or other conflict takes place.
      ‘the cockpit of capitalist conflict in Europe’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He institutionalised the killing of captives before world leaders could make the country a cockpit of the cold war.’



/ˈkäkˌpit/ /ˈkɑkˌpɪt/


Late 16th century (in cockpit (sense 2)): from cock+ pit. cockpit (sense 1) dates from the early 20th century and derives from an early 18th-century 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.