na·​celle nə-ˈsel How to pronounce nacelle (audio)
: a streamlined enclosure (as for an engine) on an aircraft

Examples of nacelle in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The generator weighs 40 percent less than conventional units, and the nacelle—the housing for the generator and other machinery—is 25 percent smaller. IEEE Spectrum, 18 Sep. 2023 Once elevated, the vessel becomes a platform where an immense crane, capable of lifting more than 1,600 tons, can install the tower sections, nacelle, and blades for each turbine. Thomas Lee,, 19 Aug. 2023 While the turbines will be supplied by General Electric, the cabinlike structures called nacelles, which house the gearing and electronics, will be made in France. Stanley Reed and Ivan Penn,, 27 June 2023 Kane credits the show’s cast and crew for explicating to her why Pelia would, say, request that the Enterprise vent plasma out of the warp nacelles. Adam B. Vary, Variety, 15 June 2023 So the nacelles make a bad problem worse. IEEE Spectrum, 18 Apr. 2019 The kits swap the engine in its streamlined housing (also known as nacelle) for a fuel-cell stack, power electronics, and a 2-MW electric motor. IEEE Spectrum, 17 Feb. 2023 Modern turbines are designed to detect wind speed and direction, enabling their nacelle — the top portion of the turbine that connects the blades to the tower — to rotate around the tower to better catch the wind. David Abel,, 19 Aug. 2022 The motion of wind rotates the large blades of the turbine, which in turn rotates a rotor in the square box at the top of the turbine, called a nacelle. London Gibson, The Indianapolis Star, 11 Aug. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'nacelle.' 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, literally, small boat, from Late Latin navicella, diminutive of Latin navis ship — more at nave

First Known Use

1904, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of nacelle was in 1904

Dictionary Entries Near nacelle

Cite this Entry

“Nacelle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


na·​celle nə-ˈsel How to pronounce nacelle (audio)
: an enclosed shelter on an aircraft for an engine or sometimes for the crew

More from Merriam-Webster on nacelle

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