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A visible trail of streaks of condensed water vapor or ice crystals sometimes forming in the wake of an aircraft. Also called vapor trail.


(Aeronautics) another name for vapour trail
[C20: from con(densation) + trail]



a visible condensation of water droplets or ice crystals from the atmosphere, occurring in the wake of an aircraft, rocket, or missile.
[1940–45; con(densation) trail]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.contrail - an artificial cloud created by an aircraft; caused either by condensation due to the reduction in air pressure above the wing surface or by water vapor in the engine exhaust
cloud - a visible mass of water or ice particles suspended at a considerable altitude


n (Aviat) → Kondensstreifen m
References in periodicals archive ?
The plane trails the UKIP banner across the sky then goes crashing down into the field below AGONY: Farage grimaces in pain as he walks from the crash.
Adding to the tension, air raid sirens rang out across the Iraqi capital and white plane trails were seen in the sky soon after the UN specialists left their Baghdad base in a convoy of nine white vehicles.
As the United Nations specialists left Baghdad in nine white vehicles, air raid sirens rang out and white plane trails could be seen.