Airplane or Aeroplane?

by Craig Shrives

What Is the Difference between "Airplane" and "Aeroplane"?

"Airplane" and "aeroplane" are interchangeable in the UK but not in the United States. More specifically, the British will accept "airplane" and "aeroplane," but Americans find "aeroplane" too archaic. In summary:
  • "Airplane" is the word preferred in the US.
  • "Aeroplane" is the non-American spelling.
So, if you're non-American, you should opt for "aeroplane," because "airplane" is considered an Americanism. Americans should use "airplane."
airplane or aeroplane?

Example Sentences with "Airplane" and "Aeroplane"

Below is an example of "aeroplane" in a British publication.
  • An international force of ships, aeroplanes, drones and satellites is scouring the southern Indian Ocean to find the wreckage of MH370. ()
  • (This is from the British newspaper The Times.)
Below are some examples of "airplane" in American publications.
  • Airplane travel is nature's way of making you look like your passport photo. ()
  • (This is a quotation from American politician Al Gore.)
  • Students designed, built, and modified paper airplanes based on the physics of flight. They were inspired by a Times article about the Perlan Project. ()
  • (This is from The New York Times.)

Most Brits Will Accept "Airplane"

"Airplane" is becoming increasingly common in British English and is now accepted by most people who follow British English writing conventions. However, few Americans would accept "aeroplane."

Airport Not Aeroport

The word "aeroport" is not British English. It's French. The British English word is "airport" (like the American).

Take the Airplane/Aeroplane Poll

A Video Summary

Watch a video showing 10 big differences between British English and American English.

Ready for the Test?

Help Us Improve Grammar Monster

  • Do you disagree with something on this page?
  • Did you spot a typo?

Find Us Quicker!

  • When using a search engine (e.g., Google, Bing), you will find Grammar Monster quicker if you add #gm to your search term.
Next lesson >

See Also

adverse or averse? affect or effect? Ms., Miss, or Mrs? avenge or revenge? bare or bear? complement or compliment? dependant or dependent? discreet or discrete? disinterested or uninterested? e.g. or i.e.? envy or jealousy? imply or infer? its or it's? jewelry and jewellry material or materiel? poisonous or venomous? practice or practise? principal or principle? tenant or tenet? who's or whose? lasagna or lasagne? List of easily confused words

Page URL