[pin-eyt, -it]
  1. resembling a feather, as in construction or arrangement; having parts arranged on each side of a common axis: a pinnate branch; pinnate trees.
  2. Botany. (of a leaf) having leaflets or primary divisions arranged on each side of a common stalk.
Often pin·nat·ed [pin-ey-tid] /ˈpɪn eɪ tɪd/.

Origin of pinnate

First recorded in 1695–1705, pinnate is from the Latin word pinnātus feathered, winged. See pinna, -ate1
Related formspin·nate·ly, pin·nat·ed·ly, adverbmul·ti·pin·nate, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for pinnate

Historical Examples of pinnate

British Dictionary definitions for pinnate



  1. like a feather in appearance
  2. (of compound leaves) having the leaflets growing opposite each other in pairs on either side of the stem
Derived Formspinnately, adverbpinnation, noun

Word Origin for pinnate

C18: from Latin pinnātus, from pinna feather
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 pinnate

1727, from Latin pinnatus "feathered, winged," from pinna "feather, wing" (see pin (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

pinnate in Science


  1. Having parts or divisions arranged on each side of a common axis in the manner of a feather. Ash, hickory, and walnut trees have pinnate leaves.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.