/puy"leuht/, n.1. a person duly qualified to steer ships into or out of a harbor or through certain difficult waters.2. a person who steers a ship.3. Aeron. a person duly qualified to operate an airplane, balloon, or other aircraft.4. a guide or leader: the pilot of the expedition.7. Mach. a guide for centering or otherwise positioning two adjacent parts, often consisting of a projection on one part fitting into a recess in the other.8. Railroads. cowcatcher.9. Also called pilot film, pilot tape. Television. a prototypical filmed or taped feature, produced with hopes of network adoption as a television series and aired to test potential viewer interest and attract sponsors.10. a preliminary or experimental trial or test: The school will offer a pilot of its new computer course.v.t.11. to steer.12. to lead, guide, or conduct, as through unknown places, intricate affairs, etc.13. to act as pilot on, in, or over.14. to be in charge of or responsible for: We're looking for someone to pilot the new project.adj.15. serving as an experimental or trial undertaking prior to full-scale operation or use: a pilot project.[1520-30; earlier pylotte < MF pillotte < It pilota, dissimilated var. of pedota < MGk *pedótes steersman, equiv. to ped(á) rudder (pl. of pedón oar) + -otes agent suffix]Syn. 2. helmsman. 13. maneuver, manage.
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