Definition of antenna
antennaeplay \-(ˌ)nē\ or
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
antennalplay \-ˈte-nəl\ adjective
Recent Examples of antenna from the Web
Brown marmorated stink bugs can be distinguished from other stink bugs by the bands on their antennae.
Some of the videos were clear enough for detectives to see the car had pin stripes, five spoke alloy rims a license plate cover and an antenna on the car's roof.
A five-year licensing agreement between the city of Naperville and the Naperville Park District would allow the city to construct, operate and maintain two antennas on top of the park district's Central Maintenance Facility.
Four long antennas, which emanate from the front of the probe like the spokes of a wheel, will collect data.
The satellite also will test a new way of transmitting data, using a high-frequency antenna with an alternative design that will unfold in space, like deconstructed origami.
In April, the Regal Princess was outfitted during a dry dock with approximately 75 miles of cable and 7,000 sensors, new satellite antennas and more than 1,700 in-cabin Wi-Fi access points.
Meanwhile, Fischer is installing a pair of wireless communication antennas that were originally scheduled for another spacewalk mission.
Equipped with omnidirectional antennas, these satellites will improve everything wireless: fax, paging, phone, and teleworking services.
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.
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.
Origin and Etymology of antenna
Medieval Latin, from Latin, sail yard
First Known Use: 1698See Words from the same year
ANTENNA Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of antenna for English Language Learners
: 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
ANTENNA Defined for Kids
Definition of antenna for Students
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
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.
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up antenna? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).