pin·​na | \ ˈpi-nə How to pronounce pinna (audio) \
plural pinnae\ ˈpi-​ˌnē How to pronounce pinna (audio) , -​ˌnī \ or pinnas

Definition of pinna

1a : a projecting body part (such as a feather, wing, or fin)
b : the largely cartilaginous projecting portion of the external ear — see ear illustration
2 : a leaflet or primary division of a pinnate leaf or frond

Examples of pinna in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Humans do have weak vestigial muscles attached to the shell of the ear, called the auricle or pinna, as well as evidence of a vestigial nervous system, which could have functioned to orient the ears. C. Claiborne Ray, New York Times, 16 Jan. 2017

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

First Known Use of pinna

1682, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for pinna

New Latin, from Latin, feather, wing — more at pen

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Cite this Entry

“Pinna.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for pinna


pin·​na | \ ˈpin-ə How to pronounce pinna (audio) \
plural pinnae\ ˈpin-​ˌē How to pronounce pinna (audio) , -​ˌī How to pronounce pinna (audio) \ or pinnas

Medical Definition of pinna

: the largely cartilaginous projecting portion of the external ear

Other Words from pinna

pinnal \ ˈpin-​ᵊl How to pronounce pinna (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on pinna Encyclopedia article about pinna


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