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Related to Airplane trails: contrail


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

American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Aeronautics) another name for vapour trail
[C20: from con(densation) + trail]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



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]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


n (Aviat) → Kondensstreifen m
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007
References in periodicals archive ?
Every deep-sky photo-processing program uses a stacking algorithm to increase the signal-to-noise ratio--much as Johnson and his colleagues describe in their 1958 paper--while also removing additional unwanted signals, including satellite and airplane trails. With electronic autoguiding and automated imaging programs, professionals and amateurs alike can shoot as deep as their skies will allow by shooting dozens of hours of exposures over multiple nights.
Try to avoid shooting with a busy road in the frame, and airplane trails can become quite annoying, detracting from your final sequence.
In the top slide, a line of exhaust left by an airplane trails across the sky; in the bottom image, we see the wake left by a boat on the ocean.