• synonyms


noun, plural rec·tri·ces [rek-trahy-seez, rek-truh-seez] /rɛkˈtraɪ siz, ˈrɛk trəˌsiz/. Ornithology.
  1. one of the tail feathers of a bird controlling direction during flight.
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Origin of rectrix

1605–15; < Latin rēctrīx, feminine of rēctor rector
Related formsrec·tri·cial [rek-trish-uh l] /rɛkˈtrɪʃ əl/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for rectrix

Historical Examples of rectrix

  • The outermost rectrix of No. 31633 is wholly white; the second rectrix is nearly as white.

    Birds from Coahuila, Mexico

    Emil K. Urban

  • Rectrix, rek′triks, n. one of the long tail-feathers of a bird, so called because used in steering the bird in its flight:—pl.

British Dictionary definitions for rectrix


noun plural rectrices (ˈrɛktrɪˌsiːz, rɛkˈtraɪsiːz)
  1. any of the large stiff feathers of a bird's tail, used in controlling the direction of flight
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Derived Formsrectricial (rɛkˈtrɪʃəl), adjective

Word Origin for rectrix

C17: from Late Latin, feminine of rector governor, rector
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