Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun One of the stiff main feathers of a bird's tail, used to stabilize the bird while in flight and to control its direction.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Same as rectoress.
  • noun In ornithology, a tail-feather; one of the long or large quill-feathers of a bird's tail: so called from its use in directing or steering the course of a bird in flight, like a rudder.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A governess; a rectoress.
  • noun (Zoöl.) One of the quill feathers of the tail of a bird.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A governess; a rectoress.
  • noun A flight feather on the tails of birds, used for directional control.

Etymologies

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

[Latin rēctrīx, feminine of rēctor, director; see rector.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Latin feminine form of rector, one who directs.

Examples

  • _P.c. amoenissima_, and the black at the base of the inner webs of the outermost rectrix does not extend beyond the tip of the under tail coverts.

    Birds from Coahuila, Mexico

  • The outermost rectrix of No. 31633 is wholly white; the second rectrix is nearly as white.

    Birds from Coahuila, Mexico

  • Representatives of _P.c. amoenissima_ have black at the base of the inner web of the outermost rectrix more extended, usually showing beyond the tip of the under tail coverts.

    Birds from Coahuila, Mexico

  • On 30th July on the left side the central rectrix and the first and second posterior coverts were still growing, on the right side the central rectrix was also growing, but the first and second posterior coverts had ceased growth and formed their quills.

    Hormones and Heredity

  • The first right central rectrix in cock B was accidentally pulled out on

    Hormones and Heredity

  • On 2nd September the left central rectrix was almost at the end of its growth, the right had ceased to grow

    Hormones and Heredity

  • The singular form of retrices is rectrix which comes from the Latin word oar used to mean rower.

    CreationWiki - Recent changes [en]

  • The singular form of retrices is rectrix which comes from the Latin word oar used to mean rower.

    CreationWiki - Recent changes [en]

  • The singular form of retrices is rectrix which comes from the Latin word oar used to mean rower.

    CreationWiki - Recent changes [en]

  • In order to find the equation of thefcab of prefTures, draw the right line K I parallel to the di - rectrix £ G, confidered as the axis to which the opdi« nates are perpendicular: let the preffure K £ zap and the abfcifTa £ L = K 1 = at.

    A Treatise on Gun-powder ; A Treatise on Fire-arms ; and A Treatise on the Service of Artillery ...

Comments

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  • Flight feather in the tails of most modern birds. (Plural is rectrices.)

    October 13, 2007

  • Eew. It doesn't *sound* like that's what it is.

    October 13, 2007

  • Just thank heavens you don't own any.

    October 13, 2007

  • ~defined as a "female ruler," oddly enough, by one of those "worthless words" websites...can't find it now

    January 18, 2009

  • Not to be confused with the pejorative (and sexist*) rixatrix.

    * It's a pretty safe bet nobody referred to Attila as "a scold".

    January 18, 2009