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antenna

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noun, an·ten·na \an-ˈte-nə\

Simple Definition of antenna

  • : a thin sensitive organ on the head of an insect, crab, etc., that is used mainly to feel and touch things

  • : a device (such as a wire or a metal rod) for sending or receiving radio or television signals

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of antenna

plural antennaeplay \-(ˌ)nē\ or antennas

  1. 1 plural antennae :  one of a pair of slender movable segmented sensory organs on the head of insects, myriapods, and crustaceans — see insect illustration

  2. 2 :  a usually metallic device (as a rod or wire) for radiating or receiving radio waves

  3. 3 antennae plural :  a special sensitivity or receptiveness <his political antennae proved to be shrewder than ever — Erich Segal>

antennalplay \-ˈte-nəl\ adjective

Origin of antenna

Medieval Latin, from Latin, sail yard


First Known Use: 1646

Other Telecommunications Terms

Rhymes with antenna


ANTENNA Defined for Kids

antenna

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noun an·ten·na \an-ˈte-nə\

Definition of antenna for Students

  1. 1 plural antennae \-ˈte-nē\ :  one of two or four threadlike movable feelers on the head of insects and crustaceans (as lobsters)

  2. 2 plural antennas :  a metallic device (as a rod or wire) for sending or receiving radio waves



History for antenna

In Greece more than two thousand years ago, the philosopher and naturalist Aristotle wrote a description of insects’ feelers. He used the Greek word keraia, which is derived from the word keras, “horn,” as a name for the feelers. The word keraia in Greek also means “sail yard,” the long piece of wood that spreads and supports the sails on a ship. Centuries later, when Aristotle's work was translated into Latin, the Latin word for a sail yard, antenna, was used to translate keraia. English later borrowed the word antenna from Latin.



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