1. A separate streamlined enclosure on an aircraft or spacecraft for sheltering the crew or cargo or for housing an engine and usually its related components.
2. A similar enclosure on a wind turbine that houses the energy-generating components, including the shaft, generator, and gearing, and to which the rotor and blades of the turbine are attached.
[French, dinghy, gondola, from Old French nacele, small boat, from Late Latin nāvicella, diminutive of Latin nāvis, ship; see nāu- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.