antenna

noun
an·​ten·​na | \ an-ˈte-nə How to pronounce antenna (audio) \
plural antennae\ -​(ˌ)nē How to pronounce antennae (audio) \ or antennas

Definition of antenna

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 : a usually metallic device (such as a rod or wire) for radiating or receiving radio waves a TV antenna
3 antennae plural : a special sensitivity or receptiveness … his political antennae proved to be shrewder than ever.— Erich Segal

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Other Words from antenna

antennal \ -​ˈte-​nᵊl How to pronounce antennal (audio) \ adjective

Did You Know?

The Latin word antenna meant “sail yard,” which is the long spar that supports and spreads the sail on a sailing vessel. The Greek word for a sail yard was keraia, but that was only one meaning of this word. The primary meaning was “horn.” The philosopher Aristotle used keraiai to describe the feelers of insects, probably because of their resemblance to the horns of some larger animals. In a Latin translation of Aristotle’s work made during the Renaissance, the word antennae was used for Greek keraiai. In English we still use antennae for insects’ feelers. And now we also use antenna for the metal rods that pick up radio waves and seem to “feel the air” like the antennae of an insect.

Examples of antenna in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Instead of rounded corners and soft shapes, the iPad Pro is all hard corners and flat sides, with massive, asymmetrical antenna lines on the back and a huge camera bump. Nilay Patel, The Verge, "Apple iPad Pro review 2018: the fastest iPad is still an iPad," 5 Nov. 2018 The first data that FIELDS sent back was collected when the instrument's antennas, attached to a boom, were deployed, shortly after the spacecraft's launch. Elizabeth Howell, Space.com, "Here Comes the Sun! Parker Solar Probe Instruments See 'First Light'," 25 Sep. 2018 Kitted out with electronic equipment and external antennae, it is still used by the Russian Air Force today, according to globalsecurity.org. Fox News, "Russian military aircraft downed by Syrian forces, killing 15; Moscow blames Israeli aggression," 18 Sep. 2018 Not included in the deal are residential condominiums, retail and restaurant space, the 360 Chicago observatory and broadcast antennas atop the tower — all of which have separate owners. Ryan Ori, chicagotribune.com, "Former John Hancock Center is getting a new owner: Sterling Bay," 12 July 2018 DeMuro likes the Mohu Glide antenna ($89.99), which worked well in his home and the Tablo DVR, which starts at $139. which allows for viewing of the broadcast channels and a slew of digital networks as well. Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY, "Cord cutting is getting pricier, but there's one sure way to keep it cheap," 7 July 2018 The crowns of the title — there are five — look like antique versions of astronaut headgear: gilded copper helmets, each studded with gems, encrusted with repoussé plaques, and topped by five-pronged antennas — the vajra or thunderbolt of wisdom. New York Times, "The Art of Staying Cool: 10 Can’t-Miss Summer Shows in New York," 4 July 2018 More soon appeared on car antennas, storefronts, home balconies, highway bridges and street corners. Erika P. Rodriguez, Smithsonian, "The Slow Recovery in Puerto Rico," 27 June 2018 Added last year were a standard shark fin antenna, a new gloss-black center floor console, a 12-volt power outlet in the cargo area, new front courtesy floor lamps, knit fabric sun visors and a washer fluid low-level warning light. G. Chambers Williams Iii, star-telegram, "Mitsubishi’s Outlander GT has room for the family, V-6, and all-wheel drive | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 5 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'antenna.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of antenna

1698, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for antenna

Medieval Latin, from Latin, sail yard

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Statistics for antenna

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for antenna

The first known use of antenna was in 1698

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More Definitions for antenna

antenna

noun

English Language Learners Definition of antenna

: a thin sensitive organ on the head of an insect, crab, etc., that is used mainly to feel and touch things
chiefly US : a device (such as a wire or a metal rod) for sending or receiving radio or television signals

antenna

noun
an·​ten·​na | \ an-ˈte-nə How to pronounce antenna (audio) \

Kids Definition of antenna

1 plural antennae\ -​ˈte-​nē\ : one of two or four threadlike movable feelers on the head of insects and crustaceans (as lobsters)
2 plural antennas : a metallic device (as a rod or wire) for sending or receiving radio waves

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More from Merriam-Webster on antenna

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with antenna

Spanish Central: Translation of antenna

Nglish: Translation of antenna for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of antenna for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about antenna

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