What's in a Word | All Blogs


Swath of white slashes the sky

By Debra Dobbins

Dean Humphrey caught a fine moment on Grand Mesa recently. His picture of a contrail ran on 2A of today’s paper and is reproduced below.

According to the Online Dictionary, the word “contrail” is an Americanism that was formed in the 1940s out of two words: (con)densation and trail. The dictionary defines it as “a visible condensation of water droplets or ice crystals from the atmosphere, occurring in the wake of an aircraft, rocket, or missile under certain conditions.”

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