[ nuh-sel ]
/ nəˈsɛl /


the enclosed part of an airplane, dirigible, etc., in which the engine is housed or in which cargo or passengers are carried.
the car of a balloon.

Origin of nacelle

1475–85; < French: a small boat < Late Latin nāvicella, for Latin nāvicula, equivalent to nāvi(s) ship (see nave) + -cula -cule1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for nacelle

  • The point C is the centre of the propeller, or, in the case of a "pusher" aeroplane, the centre of the nacelle.

  • The blood from his wound spurted all over the nacelle, obscuring the instruments, and in addition his machine caught fire.

    Sixty Squadron R.A.F.|Group-Captain A. J. L. Scott
  • Nacelle—That part of an aeroplane containing the engine and pilot and passenger, and to which the tail plane is not fixed.

  • Then his glances fell upon the aviator just on the point of stepping from the nacelle, or cockpit.

British Dictionary definitions for nacelle

/ (nəˈsɛl) /


a streamlined enclosure on an aircraft, not part of the fuselage, to accommodate an engine, passengers, crew, etc

Word Origin for nacelle

C20: from French: small boat, from Late Latin nāvicella, a diminutive of Latin nāvis ship
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