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 The appendage, which appeared to be a right foot, was discovered around 9:12 a.m. Monday by a California Department of Transportation employee in the center median of the freeway near State Street, according to Sgt. Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times, "Human foot found in median of 210 Freeway in San Bernardino," 4 May 2021 One is that the royals are tireless public servants: the prince carried out more than 22,000 solo engagements and countless more as an appendage to his wife, always walking two steps behind her. The Economist, "Bagehot Prince Philip and the dynasty factor," 15 Apr. 2021 But Amber was headless and tailless, except for that appendage’s very tip, which had been placed on her belly. Longreads, "Don’t F**K With the Pet Detectives," 10 Mar. 2021 These snakes have a long, flexible appendage projecting from their snout. Michael B. Habib, Scientific American, "How to Make a Hippogriff Fly and Other Flights of Fancy," 17 Mar. 2021 Dillermand’s life revolves around the power of his appendage. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, "The Problem With This Kids’ Show Isn’t Just the Giant Penis," 26 Feb. 2021 But four sources say Stadia’s game development process felt stapled on, an awkward appendage to the core streaming technology effort. Cecilia D'anastasio, Wired, "How Google's Grand Plan to Make Its Own Games Fell Apart," 26 Feb. 2021 Like a hippo crashing a ballet recital, the Red Pig, developed by then-nascent AMG, took first in class and second place overall, cementing AMG as the high-performance appendage to Mercedes-Benz ever since. Robert Ross, Robb Report, "Watch Magnus Walker Put This Homage to the Famed Mercedes ‘Red Pig’ Racer to the Test," 24 Feb. 2021 In this impressionistic, dreamlike collection, Navarro, a Spanish writer, deploys surrealism to comic, haunting effect: a floating grandmother, a pawlike appendage growing from an ear. New York Times, "New & Noteworthy, From Food Policy to Communicating With the Dead," 2 Feb. 2021

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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Learn More about appendage

Time Traveler for appendage

Time Traveler

The first known use of appendage was in 1647

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Statistics for appendage

Last Updated

10 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Appendage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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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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