I. noun 1.
[Zoology] either of a pair of long, thin sensory appendages on the heads of insects, crustaceans, and some other arthropods.
• bugs use their antennae to detect blood heat.
2. ( antennae) — the faculty of instinctively detecting and interpreting subtle signs • he has the political antennae of a party whip.
3. ( pl. also antennas) —
(chiefly N. Amer.)
‹technical› another term for aerial:
• a TV antenna.
II. derivatives antennal adjective
– origin mid 17th cent.: from Latin, alteration of antemna ‘yard’ (of a ship), used in the plural to translate Greek keraioi ‘horns (of insects)’, used by Aristotle.