9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[an-ten-uh] /ænˈtɛn ə/
noun, plural antennas for 1, antennae
[an-ten-ee] /ænˈtɛn i/ (Show IPA),
for 2.
a conductor by which electromagnetic waves are sent out or received, consisting commonly of a wire or set of wires; aerial.
Zoology. one of the jointed, movable, sensory appendages occurring in pairs on the heads of insects and most other arthropods.
Origin of antenna
1640-50; < Latin: a sailyard
Related forms
antennal, adjective
postantennal, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for antenna
  • The extra antenna allows smart phones to carry two signals over a single frequency.
  • Apple's keen on eliminating antenna woes in its products, even ones you may not even realize had antennas in the first place.
  • Your correspondent installed a broadcast antenna to receive high-definition television.
  • The plan is familiar: park an antenna high in the stratosphere and then relay signals to and from devices below.
  • The viewers may also need to adjust their antenna or purchase a new antenna.
  • Also your antenna would have to track the satellite to maintain contact.
  • It is played by moving the right hand in the air near the antenna.
  • The satellite has a receiving antenna for the feed from the ground station.
  • Some of it bounces off the ground around the actual antenna.
  • The energy density would be able to support cattle ranching on the land over the receiving antenna.
British Dictionary definitions for antenna


(pl) -nae (-naɪ). one of a pair of mobile appendages on the heads of insects, crustaceans, etc, that are often whiplike and respond to touch and taste but may be specialized for swimming or attachment
(pl) -nas another name for aerial (sense 7)
Derived Forms
antennal, antennary, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Latin: sail yard, of obscure origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for antenna

1640s, "feeler or horn of an insect," from Latin antenna "sail yard," the long yard that sticks up on some sails, of unknown origin, perhaps from PIE root *temp- "to stretch, extend." In the etymological sense, it is a loan-translation of Aristotle's Greek keraiai "horns" (of insects). Modern use in radio, etc., for "aerial wire" is from 1902. Adjectival forms are antennal (1834), antennary (1836), antennular (1858).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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antenna in Science
  1. One of a pair of long, slender, segmented appendages on the heads of insects, centipedes, millipedes, and crustaceans. Most antennae are organs of touch, but some are sensitive to odors and other stimuli.

  2. A metallic device for sending or receiving electromagnetic waves, such as radio waves. Some antennas can send waves in or receive waves from all directions; others are designed to work only in a range of directions.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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