Definitions

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

  • adj. Resembling a feather; having parts or branches arranged on each side of a common axis: a polyp with a pinnate form; pinnate leaves.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Resembling a feather.
  • adj. Having two rows of branches, lobes, leaflets, or veins arranged on each side of a common axis

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Consisting of several leaflets, or separate portions, arranged on each side of a common petiole, as the leaves of a rosebush, a hickory, or an ash. See Abruptly pinnate, and Illust., under abruptly.
  • adj. Having a winglike tuft of long feathers on each side of the neck.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Shaped like a feather, or resembling a feather in Structure.
  • In zoology:
  • Feathered; pinnated.
  • Provided with a pinna or pinnæ; having wings, fins, or similar parts.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. (of a leaf shape) featherlike; having leaflets on each side of a common axis

Etymologies

Latin pinnātus, feathered, from pinna, feather.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin pinnātus ("feathered"), from pinna ("feather") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • "That kind of veining is called pinnate veining from a Latin word that means 'feather,'" explained Helen.

    Ethel Morton's Enterprise

  • Each leaf is full five yards in length, and of the kind called pinnate -- that is divided into numerous leaflets, each of which is itself more than a foot and a half long, shaped like the blade of a rapier.

    Ran Away to Sea

  • The apparently compound ( "pinnate" or feather-shaped) leaves of many palms are not strictly compound; that is, they do not arise from the branching of an originally single leaf, but are really broad, undivided leaves, which are closely folded like a fan in the bud, and tear apart along the folds as the leaf opens.

    Elements of Structural and Systematic Botany For High Schools and Elementary College Courses

  • Like a tiny pink lupin with vetch-like pinnate leaves, this pea relative is said to have been introduced from France, where it was called "St Foyn" in the 17th century.

    Country diary: Wenlock Edge

  • I want to stop smelling the basal stipules, pinnate leaflets, hypanthium and achenes.

    Yolanda Reid Chassiakos: A Rose By Any Other Name

  • I was pleasantly surprised to see this tree species - the Mimosa, known by it's fluffy light pink flowers and pinnate shaped leaves.

    Archive 2009-08-01

  • The leaves are 10-25 cm long, pinnate, with 5-9 leaflets, each leaflet up to 8 cm long, with a serrated margin; both the stem and leaves are densely glandular-hairy.

    Archive 2006-04-01

  • Its broad pinnate tropical leaf was pleasant though strange to look on.

    Walden

  • The sago tree is a palm, thicker and larger than the cocoa-nut tree, although rarely so tall, and having immense pinnate spiny leaves, which completely cover the trunk till it is many years old.

    The Malay Archipelago

  • For example, the palms were much more abundant than I had generally found them in the East, more generally mingled with the other vegetation, more varied in form and aspect, and presenting some of those lofty and majestic smooth-stemmed, pinnate-leaved species which recall the Uauassu (Attalea speciosa) of the Amazon, but which I had hitherto rarely met with in the Malayan islands.

    The Malay Archipelago

Comments

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  • "I'd seen mountain ash many times before; the Highlanders often planted them near cabins or houses because the clusters of deep orange berries and the pinnate leaves did indeed look like the rowan tree of Scotland—a close botanical relative."
    —Diana Gabaldon, The Fiery Cross (NY: Bantam Dell, 2001), 451

    January 20, 2010