Definition of rectrices in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈrɛktrɪsiːz/

plural noun (singular rectrix /ˈrɛktrɪks/)

The larger feathers in a bird’s tail, used for steering in flight. Compare with remiges.
Example sentences
  • I plucked the outer right rectrix (tail feather), thereby inducing the growth of a replacement.
  • We also removed the central rectrix from the right side of the tail of each adult to determine feather growth rate.
  • Most birds showed signs of moderate to heavy wear of the secondary coverts and rectrices.


Mid 18th century: from Latin, feminine plural of rector 'ruler' (see rector).

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