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

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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, "Born to Be an Ear Wiggler?," 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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Time Traveler for pinna

Time Traveler

The first known use of pinna was in 1682

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Cite this Entry

“Pinna.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for pinna


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

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