The term arose from attempts in the late 1800s to make a balloon steerable. In French, dirigeable means steerable. Over time the phrase “dirigible balloon” was shortened to just dirigible. In modern parlance, the term has been replaced by airship.
- (UK) IPA: [ˈdɪɹɪdʒəbəɫ], X-SAMPA: /"dI.rIdZ.@.b@l/
- (US) IPA: /ˈdɪɹ.ə.dʒə.bəl/, X-SAMPA: /"dIr.@.dZ@.b@l/
dirigible (plural dirigibles)
See also 
dirigible m (plural dirigibles)