The Plural of Antenna: What It Is and How to Use It

Here is a brief explanation of how to use antenna and the plural form of the word in English. Let us go over what an antenna is, the plural form, the history and origin of the word, synonyms, and examples of the word used in a sentence. Next time you go to use the word antenna you will be an expert.

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What Is the Full Definition of the Word Antenna?

According to an English dictionary, the word antenna means:

  • plural antennae: one of a pair of slender, movable, segmented sensory organs on the head of insects, myriapods, and crustaceans
  • a usually metallic device (such as a rod or wire) for radiating or receiving radio waves for television signals
    • a TV antenna
  • antennae plural: a special sensitivity or receptiveness
    • … his political antennae proved to be shrewder than ever.
    • — Erich Segal

What Is the Correct Plural of Antenna?

If we look at the root language, Latin, we can see why the plural form of the word antenna is antennae. However, if we are referring to the metal rod antenna it is instead correct to use the plural form antennas. 

The History and Origin of the Word

The word antenna originally comes from the Latin language. Its original definition in the Latin language is “sail yard”. 

The definition of a sail yard is “is a spar on a mast from which sails are set. It may be constructed of timber or steel or from more modern materials like aluminium or carbon fibre. Although some types of fore and aft rigs have yards, the term is usually used to describe the horizontal spars used on square rigged sails”

You might be wondering right now “how did we get our current definition of antenna from sail yard”. That is a pretty fitting question but it does have a fitting answer. The greek word for sail yard is “keraia”. It did mean sail yard but also meant horn (this was the main way that it was used in fact). Aristotle used the word keraia to refer to the antenna (feelers) of insects. He likely came to this usage based on how keraia would be the correct way to describe the horns of a larger animal. 

We still do use antenna to refer to the feelers of insects from the definition given to the word by Aristotle, but also we can use the same word to describe the kind of antenna we use to get signals. The likely reason for calling it an antenna is because it’s serving a similar function to an insect antenna. It is “feeling” the air for the signals passing through it, which is pretty much the same thing as an insect’s antenna.

Synonyms of the Word Antenna From a Thesaurus

  • Receiver – a device for converting signals (such as electromagnetic waves) into audio or visual form
  • Wire – metal in the form of a usually very flexible thread or slender rod
  • Aerial – of, relating to, or occurring in the air or atmosphere
  • Ears – any of various organs (as of a fish) capable of detecting vibratory motion
  • Feelers – a tactile process (such as a tentacle) of an animal
  • Whip – a flexible vertical rod radio antenna
  • Bird Snapper – Appendages for sensing, usually on insects or electronics
  • Rabbit Ears – an indoor dipole television antenna consisting of two usually extensible rods connected to a base to form a V shape

Example Sentences of the Word in Context

Summary

Now you are an expert on all things related to the word of the day, antenna. Next time you need to write about antennas you will be well prepared for everything you need to know what it is and how to do it efficiently within the American English language. 

Sources:

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