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

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 Often the bites that sharks take there are exploratory and happen when a shark mistakes an appendage for a school of fish, Naylor says. Colleen Cronin, PEOPLE.com, "Here's a Map of All the Shark Attacks in the U.S. This Year," 9 Aug. 2019 One of the painters central to this artistic resurgence is Galal, who says art wasn’t just an appendage of the uprising but was at the heart of it. Abdi Latif Dahir, Quartz Africa, "Sudan’s street protests have inspired another revolution—in art," 12 July 2019 No other bird—living or extinct—sports such an appendage. Sabine Galvis, Science | AAAS, "This ancient bird sported a ginormous toe," 11 July 2019 To go from being a stationary polyp to a floating medusa is almost akin to humans evolving the ability to swim through the air and capture birds with springy, netlike appendages. Quanta Magazine, "Jellyfish Genome Hints That Complexity Isn’t Genetically Complex," 8 Jan. 2019 Just then, as her body appears ready to topple forward, a mechanical appendage uncoils from beneath her dress and stiffens behind her like a wooden plank, steadying her from a fall. courant.com, "Japanese researchers want to give your grandma a robotic monkey tail," 21 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

11 Sep 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

appendage

noun

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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