flight feather

noun

Definition of flight feather

: one of the quills of a bird's wing or tail that support it in flight — compare contour feather

Examples of flight feather in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In modern birds, barbicels are the structures that allow flight feathers to retain their shape as birds flap their wings. Rachel Fritts, Ars Technica, "Forgotten trove of fossil feathers belonged to tiny polar dinosaurs," 15 Jan. 2020 And now engineers are turning to the species for research by adding pigeon flight feathers to an airborne robot. Rob Verger, Popular Science, "The PigeonBot flies like a bird but won’t poop like one," 16 Jan. 2020 The paper describes what is potentially the earliest evidence of a flight feather, and the first-ever non-avian dinosaur feathers found within the Antarctic Circle. Rachel Fritts, Ars Technica, "Forgotten trove of fossil feathers belonged to tiny polar dinosaurs," 15 Jan. 2020 The fossils include downy feathers for insulation, a fluffy protofeather that most likely belonged to a nonavian dinosaur, and one complex flight feather like those on the wings of modern birds. John Pickrell, National Geographic, "In a first, fossil dinosaur feathers found near the South Pole," 18 Nov. 2019 In museum collections from decades ago, the birds’ flight feathers are consistently yellow. BostonGlobe.com, "A short documentary exploring climate change on Cape Cod," 26 Sep. 2019 According to Persons, flight feathers found on bird wings contain a hollow center called the rachis, from which the barbs protrude. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, "The Sexiest Dinosaurs Learned How to Fly First," 5 Aug. 2019 Experts hope that the new baby will be the first of her offspring to successfully fledge, or grow enough to acquire flight feathers and foray out of the nest. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "The California Condor Nearly Went Extinct. Now, the 1000th Chick of a Recovery Program Has Hatched.," 22 July 2019 Ostrom studied a fossil creature from the end of the Jurassic period called Archaeopteryx, a raven-sized dinosaur that had wings and flight feathers. National Geographic, "Finally, You Can See Dinosaurs in All Their Feathered Glory," 5 Apr. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'flight feather.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of flight feather

1735, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about flight feather

Time Traveler for flight feather

Time Traveler

The first known use of flight feather was in 1735

See more words from the same year

Statistics for flight feather

Cite this Entry

“Flight feather.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flight%20feather. Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on flight feather

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about flight feather

Comments on flight feather

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

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!