appendage

noun
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 There are some ambiguous signs that there may be arthropod-like appendages attached to some segments, but the evidence isn't clear, and the authors are cautious about their interpretation here. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Before life exploded in the Cambrian, there were worms," 4 Sep. 2019 By monitoring that digital appendage, researchers hope to identify clues that foreshadow a crisis. Kelly Servick, Science | AAAS, "Suicide attempts are hard to anticipate. A study that tracks teens’ cellphone use aims to change that," 21 Aug. 2019 To snag its sample, Hayabusa2 is equipped with a bullet-like projectile attached to an appendage shaped like a horn. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Japanese spacecraft grabs second asteroid sample near blasted crater," 11 July 2019 But the jellies easily escaped the grasp of the four-appendage device, so the scientists added two additional fingers on the top and bottom of the palm to ensure a firmer grasp. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "Cool New Robot Can Grab Squishy Fish Without Hurting Them," 28 Aug. 2019 Using ultraviolet lasers, the appendage scans the terrain to detect the presence of organic compounds. Daniel Oberhaus, WIRED, "NASA's Next Martian Rover Is Almost Ready to Rock," 20 Aug. 2019 Pressed to his eye and pointed to the heavens, the high-tech gadget became an extra appendage. Joan Niesen, SI.com, "The Insatiable Curiosity of Jonathan Taylor Drives His Relentless Dominance," 6 Sep. 2019 Beneath the upbeat tone and staccato sentences is a picture very like the old-fashioned Marxist vision of man under capitalism: an appendage of the machine. Richard Cooke, The New Republic, "The conservative commentariat’s love affair with nootropics," 3 Sep. 2019 With its florid flora and prehistoric fauna, its end-of-the-road otherness, its castles literally built on sand, this flat appendage dangling from the southeast corner of the continental U.S. makes a fine backdrop for all kinds of craziness. Los Angeles Times, "‘Florida Man’ is so over. On TV, Florida women are having their day," 23 Aug. 2019

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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Dictionary Entries near appendage

appellee

appellor

append

appendage

appendaged

appendance

appendant

Statistics for appendage

Last Updated

6 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for appendage

The first known use of appendage was in 1647

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More Definitions for appendage

appendage

noun
How to pronounce appendage (audio)

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

appendage

noun
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

appendage

noun
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

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