em·​pen·​nage ˌäm-pə-ˈnäzh How to pronounce empennage (audio)
: the tail assembly of an aircraft

Examples of empennage in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Meanwhile, Aciturri—also based in Spain—will design and develop Overture’s empennage, or tail structure. Michael Verdon, Robb Report, 26 June 2023 This meant that guides had to be added to the empennage to prevent damage to the vertical and horizontal tail surfaces. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 5 Oct. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'empennage.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


French, feathers of an arrow, empennage, from empenner to feather an arrow, from em- en- entry 1 + penne feather, from Middle French — more at pen

First Known Use

1908, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of empennage was in 1908

Dictionary Entries Near empennage

Cite this Entry

“Empennage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/empennage. Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

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