cabin or area, usually near the front of an aircraft, from which a pilot controls the aircraft

A cockpit is the open space, normally near the front of an aircraft, where a pilot controls the aircraft. A different name for the cockpit is the flight deck, flight deck can also refer to the flight deck on an aircraft carrier. Current cockpits have walls on all sides, this may not be the same for some small aircraft, and cockpits on aircraft with passengers have the cockpit separated from the passenger area of the aircraft. Motorboats also have cockpits.

VC-10 (1960s) The Vickers VC10 airliner featured an analog cockpit, with old-style instruments.
Airbus A319 cockpit. Most Airbus cockpits are computerised glass cockpits featuring fly-by-wire technology. The control column has been replaced with an electronic sidestick.

Cockpit as a term for the pilot's space in an aircraft first appeared in 1914. From about 1935 cockpit also came to be used informally to refer to the driver's seat of a car, especially a high performance one, and this is official terminology in Formula One. The term is most likely related to the sailing term for the coxswain's station in a Royal Navy ship, and later the location of the ship's rudder controls.