aeroplane (n.) Look up aeroplane at
1866, originally in reference to surfaces such as shell casings of beetle wings, from French aéroplane (1855), from Greek-derived aero- "air" (see air (n.1)) + stem of French planer "to soar," from Latin planus "level, flat" (from PIE root *pele- (2) "flat; to spread"). Later extended to the wing of a flying machine. Meaning "heavier than air flying machine" is first attested 1873 and probably is an independent coinage in English. Also see airplane. Greek aeroplanos meant "wandering in the air," from planos "wandering" (see planet).