alula

noun
al·u·la | \ˈal-yə-lə \
plural alulae\-ˌlē, -ˌlī \

Definition of alula 

: a specialized structure of the upper leading edge of a bird's wing that consists of a tuft of short, stiff flight feathers attached to the movable first wing digit corresponding to the thumb and that facilitates flight, landing, and maneuverability at slow speeds : bastard wing While easy to overlook, the alula is essential to a modern bird's aerodynamics.— Tom Waters By altering airflow, the alula permits good maneuverability and control at low flying speeds, crucial for takeoffs and landings.National Geographic

First Known Use of alula

1772, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for alula

New Latin, from Latin, diminutive of ala wing — more at aisle

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about alula

Dictionary Entries near alula

ALU

aluchi resin

aludel

alula

alulet

alum

alumbloom

Statistics for alula

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for alula

The first known use of alula was in 1772

See more words from the same year

Comments on alula

What made you want to look up alula? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

not any or not one

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!