ap·​pend·​age | \ ə-ˈpen-dij How to pronounce appendage (audio) \

Definition of appendage

1 : an adjunct to something larger or more important : appurtenance
2 : a usually projecting part of an animal or plant body that is typically smaller and of less functional importance than the main part to which it is attached especially : a limb or analogous part (such as a seta)
3 [ appendant ] : a dependent or subordinate person

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The Root of Appendage

Appendix isn't the only noun that comes from append. Unlike appendix, appendage doesn't suggest the end of something, but simply something attached. The word is often used in biology to refer to parts of an animal's body: an insect's antennae, mouthparts, or wings, for example. The appendages of some animals will grow back after they've been removed; a salamander, for example, can regrow a finger, and the tiny sea squirt can regrow all its appendages—and even its brain.

Examples of appendage in a Sentence

The court system acts as an appendage to the government. an appendage of a larger political party

Recent Examples on the Web

Swathed in bamboo with icicle-like appendages dripping from the ceilings, the cozy room was engineered with audio in mind. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "The Hotel as Patron of the Arts? In Hong Kong, the Peninsula Takes the Trend to the Next Level," 9 Apr. 2019 By shifting the role of tire wake control to these new aerodynamic appendages behind the front wheels, that turbulent air will be sent on its way regardless of whether the front wing is in clean or dirty air. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Here’s what Formula 1 cars may look like in 2021 if the sport gets its way," 14 Sep. 2018 There's no right or wrong way to assemble it: Just mix up some glitter and table salt, gather your snowman's appendages, and drop all of it in a plastic ball ornament. Heather Finn, Good Housekeeping, "Get the Whole Family Crafting With These Easy DIY Christmas Ornaments," 6 Dec. 2018 In one such case in 2012, the surgeons grew an ear in the forearm of a woman who had lost the appendage to cancer, ABC reported at the time. Julissa Treviño, Smithsonian, "Doctors ‘Grow’ Ear for Transplant in Patient’s Forearm," 16 May 2018 Ah, that church or those churches are just an appendage of the party. Jonathan Leeman, Washington Post, "Why the Southern Baptist Convention shouldn’t have allowed Mike Pence to speak," 14 June 2018 Like its adult counterparts, the little arthropod had a spiny raptorial appendage used for grasping prey and the radiodontan’s characteristic circular mouth filled with sharp teeth. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "This Prehistoric Sea Creature Had Fanged, Killer Babies," 11 June 2018 District 7: An incumbent Republican bows out This district, previously the 15th, used to have a long Republican appendage attached to part of the Democratic-leaning Lehigh Valley. New York Times, "Pennsylvania’s Primary: Congressional Races to Watch," 14 May 2018 Lee, meanwhile, jumped into the mumbo-jumbo with both feet and a collection of other appendages as well. Noah Berlatsky, The Verge, "The larger-than-life huckster dialogue of Stan Lee," 13 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'appendage.' 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 appendage

1647, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for appendage

Last Updated

8 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for appendage

The first known use of appendage was in 1647

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More Definitions for appendage



English Language Learners Definition of appendage

medical : a body part (such as an arm or a leg) connected to the main part of the body
: something connected or joined to a larger or more important thing


ap·​pend·​age | \ ə-ˈpen-dij How to pronounce appendage (audio) \

Kids Definition of appendage

: something (as a leg) attached to a larger or more important thing


ap·​pend·​age | \ ə-ˈpen-dij How to pronounce appendage (audio) \

Medical Definition of appendage

: a subordinate or derivative body part especially : a limb or analogous part (as a seta)

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Comments on appendage

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


to mark by some ceremony or observation

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