Assume you are in a flight(air plane). When the flight goes down one side, how do say that? I mean the slide/descend. I feel both are wrong word. What is the correct word? Can I say, "The flight slide on the left side" or simply "The flight slides"?

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    The airplane (not the "flight", which is a journey) banks left. Commented May 5, 2013 at 21:10
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    Do you mean when an aeroplane tips down on side, in flight, like this? aerospaceweb.org/question/performance/turn/bank.gif
    – Tristan
    Commented May 5, 2013 at 22:11
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    An airplane is unique in that it moves in three dimensions. Buses and ships are confined to ground level; they are able to turn left and right but they don't have the control to intentionally tilt themselves to one side or another. And houses don't usually move at all. So if a bus, ship, or house were to tilt left like an airplane, it would be because something went wrong. You wouldn't use bank then because banking is intentional. You might say the bus/ship/house "toppled over" (because gravity is going to pull the bus/ship down after it tilts) or that it is "tilting".
    – WendiKidd
    Commented May 5, 2013 at 23:53
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    Just "tilt" would work as a generic word :) You can't use slide; slide means something is on a surface and slipping around. You can slide across slick surfaces and slide down hills, but slide is not what you want in this case. Just "tilt" would work just fine :)
    – WendiKidd
    Commented May 6, 2013 at 15:22
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    That's right, Wendi. Tilt would be a suitable word in general.
    – Tristan
    Commented May 6, 2013 at 15:30

2 Answers 2


Airplanes can "roll" to the left or right. This is actually a technical term used for aircraft ("pitch" and "yaw" are the other ways an airplane can be rotate during flight), but it would be understood even outside technical contexts.

Rolling implies that one wing or the other drops relative to the body of the plane. It doesn't explicitly mean that the plane is turning (changing its direction of travel), although that might usually be the case. Ships can also roll. Buses might roll slightly, but normally if we say a bus "rolled" it means it went all the way over on its side. Houses don't normally roll.

A more general word is "tilt". Pretty much anything can "tilt", whether left or right or forwards or backwards. But "tilting" has some connotation that the motion is only slight. You wouldn't normally use "tilt" if the bus went all the way over on its side, for example.

As others mentioned, you can also say an airplane "banks" into a turn. A motorcycle also banks during a turn. But buses don't bank, and houses certainly don't.

Edit Juts to clear up somethign that hasn't been mentioned yet, When something "slides" it means it moves over a surface, with an implication that there's friction between the object and the surface it's resting on. For example if a bus slides, it means either it's wheels are locked preventing it from rolling, or it is moving perpendicular to its normal forward direction. A plane can't slide unless it's on the ground, but it can "slip" sideways when in flight.

  • Yes, I'm looking for a word which means slightly tilt not complete roll. So other than tilt there is no other word? Tilt seems odd, I feel like if I use tilt, it means someone is tilting it. In my cause no one is tilting it.
    – T2E
    Commented May 6, 2013 at 5:45
  • Although tilt can be used as a transitive verb ("I tilted the plate") it can also be used either in the passive voice ("the plate was tilted") without implying any particular actor causing the tilt, or where the subject acts on itself ("The floor tilted to the left").
    – The Photon
    Commented May 6, 2013 at 15:33
  • 'one wing or the other drops relative to the body of the plane' - pedantically, no. If this were happening, the wing would be breaking off. The body (fuselage) of the plane is rolling at the same time as the wing and their relative positions are constant, barring perhaps a slight flexing of the wing. The aeroplane is rolling relative to the horizontal plane, along its longitudinal (nose to tail) axis.
    – toandfro
    Commented Feb 27, 2014 at 1:52

Regarding aircraft (this applies to aircraft in general, not just aeroplanes), the word for this is what StoneyB wrote; bank.

Can I say, "The flight slide on the left side" or simply "The flight slides"?

You could say "the aircraft banked left", if it happened in the past. If it is happening now, you could say "the aircraft is banking left".

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