• synonyms


[ahm-puh-nahzh, em-; French ahn-pe-nazh]
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noun, plural em·pen·nag·es [ahm-puh-nah-zhiz, em-; French ahn-pe-nazh] /ˌɑm pəˈnɑ ʒɪz, ˌɛm-; French ɑ̃ pɛˈnaʒ/.
  1. the rear part of an airplane or airship, usually comprising the stabilizer, elevator, vertical fin, and rudder.
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Origin of empennage

1905–10; < French: literally, feathering, equivalent to empenn(er) to feather an arrow (em- em-1 + -penner, derivative of penne feather; see pen1) + -age -age
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for empennage

Historical Examples

  • The loose end of his leggin was caught in the wires of the empennage.

    Bill Bruce on Forest Patrol

    Henry Harley Arnold

  • Bill gave him a lift and Breene was soon sitting on the empennage almost entirely out of the water.

    Bill Bruce on Forest Patrol

    Henry Harley Arnold

British Dictionary definitions for empennage


  1. the rear part of an aircraft, comprising the fin, rudder, and tailplane
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Word Origin

C20: from French: feathering, from empenner to feather an arrow, from penne feather, from Latin pinna
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