antenna /anˈtɛnə/


I. noun

[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


– 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.

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