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antenna

[an-ten-uh]
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noun, plural an·ten·nas for 1, an·ten·nae [an-ten-ee] /ænˈtɛn i/ for 2.
  1. a conductor by which electromagnetic waves are sent out or received, consisting commonly of a wire or set of wires; aerial.
  2. Zoology. one of the jointed, movable, sensory appendages occurring in pairs on the heads of insects and most other arthropods.

Origin of antenna

1640–50; < Latin: a sailyard
Related formsan·ten·nal, adjectivepost·an·ten·nal, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for antennae

antenna

noun
  1. plural -nae (-naɪ) one of a pair of mobile appendages on the heads of insects, crustaceans, etc, that are often whiplike and respond to touch and taste but may be specialized for swimming or attachment
  2. plural -nas another name for aerial (def. 7)
Derived Formsantennal or antennary, adjective

Word Origin

C17: from Latin: sail yard, of obscure origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for antennae

n.

Latinate plural of antenna; see -ae.

antenna

n.

1640s, "feeler or horn of an insect," from Latin antenna "sail yard," the long yard that sticks up on some sails, of unknown origin, perhaps from PIE root *temp- "to stretch, extend." In the etymological sense, it is a loan-translation of Aristotle's Greek keraiai "horns" (of insects). Modern use in radio, etc., for "aerial wire" is from 1902. Adjectival forms are antennal (1834), antennary (1836), antennular (1858).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

antennae in Science

antenna

[ăn-tĕnə]
  1. One of a pair of long, slender, segmented appendages on the heads of insects, centipedes, millipedes, and crustaceans. Most antennae are organs of touch, but some are sensitive to odors and other stimuli.
  2. A metallic device for sending or receiving electromagnetic waves, such as radio waves. Some antennas can send waves in or receive waves from all directions; others are designed to work only in a range of directions.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.