Is there a more idiomatic way to translate "airship" than something like navis aeris (maybe this already is natural to a native speaker)? A compound word like "Airship" in English feels like a more distinct thing unto itself than saying "ship of the air". I am very much open to alternative nouns and phrasing.

1 Answer 1


The German–Latin dictionary Neues Latein Lexikon, 1998 edition, offers:

aeronavis, is, f

(Cited after the Lexicon Latinum Hodiernum. The N.L.L. is supposed to be a translation of the Vatican's Italian–Latin Lexicon Recentis Latinitatis, infamous for its lengthy circumlocutions. The online edition of the latters offers aëria navis, which is more in keeping with its reputation.)

On what reasoning I do not know. It cannot be a wealth of classical compounds beginning with aero-, because no such wealth exists.

  • I noticed in the L.L.H. they have also have aeroplanum. It would be interesting to know if there was any classical word which inspired these modern forms, but this still works fine for my needs either way.
    – Adam
    May 8, 2020 at 17:47
  • Without the diaresis, it sounds like a bronze ship...
    – C Monsour
    May 8, 2020 at 22:52

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