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[From ground effect, a peculiarity of certain aircraft when landing, in which a cushion of air directed off the wings prevents touchdown.]
hov•er•craft(ˈhʌv ərˌkræft, -ˌkrɑft, ˈhɒv-)
n., pl. -craft.
(sometimes cap.) a passenger craft that rides on a cushion of air, kept aloft by fans and driven forward by propellers.
[1955–60; orig. a trademark]