from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A contour feather of a bird, as distinguished from a down feather or a plume.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a contour feather

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A perfect, or normal, feather.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In ornithology, a feather; a plume; specifically, a contour-feather, as distinguished from a down-feather or plumule; especially, one of the large stiff feathers of the wings or tail; one of the remiges or rectrices. See feather.
  • n. Same as pen-case.


Latin, feather; see pet- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin penna ("feather") (Wiktionary)



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