Definition of antler in English:


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  • 1Each of the branched horns on the head of an adult deer (typically a male one), which are made of bone and are grown and cast annually.

    ‘a stag's antlers’
    • ‘combs made of antler’
    • ‘Except for female caribou, only male deer grow antlers, which they shed each year.’
    • ‘One possibility is sexual selection: a brightly colored male fish or a male deer sporting large antlers may have a better chance of attracting or fighting for mates than males that lack such traits.’
    • ‘Female reindeer rule over males during the short season when males have shed their antlers prior to growing new ones and the females have not yet shed theirs.’
    • ‘The mammalian liver can regenerate if a part of it is removed, the antlers of male deer regenerate each year, and fractured bones can mend by a regenerative process.’
    • ‘Female reindeer are the only deer species to grow antlers as well as the male, but they only sprout in winter.’
    • ‘If you remember your zoology classes well, a ‘stag’ is also a male deer, with antlers.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, Lister cast doubt on another possible explanation for the deer's demise - the male's huge antlers.’
    • ‘The antler measurement provides a very precise time for the death of this animal, since caribou form and cast their antlers annually, and females keep theirs throughout the winter.’
    • ‘The ditch around Stonehenge would have been dug using animal bones and deer antlers to loosen the underlying chalk.’
    • ‘The antlers of the giant deer, or Irish elk, grew as large as 10 feet across.’
    • ‘Reindeer, both wild and semi-domesticated, are the only members of the deer family in which both sexes grow antlers.’
    • ‘A Venetian-style chandelier cast from deer antlers was suspended above.’
    • ‘Teeth from a woolly rhino were also found, with a reindeer antler and a deer bone that had been split to extract the marrow.’
    • ‘After the fuzzy velvet is stripped off (sometimes in sparring matches which precede the rut), the antlers of both males and females become a pure, shining white.’
    • ‘Remedies to right the imbalance include snake gallbladder, powdered deer antlers, and rhinoceros horn, as well as hundreds of different combinations of herbs.’
    • ‘None of the women, but three of the five men in the drawing have horns on their head; the elaborate branched antlers of the stag, curling horns of rams, and the pronged horns of the antelope.’
    • ‘The principal season for deer harvest was August to January, based on patterns of mandibular tooth eruption and antlers attached to male crania.’
    • ‘Naked bone, such as antlers become after velvet is shed, cannot function in heat transmission because their blood supply is lost.’
    • ‘In most cervids, only males have antlers (but both sexes bear them in caribou).’
    • ‘Bulls and cows in the Tsaatan herd grow velvety racks of antlers.’
    1. 1.1Each of the branches on a set of antlers.
      ‘If you are lucky enough to live on the outskirts of a forest, there is a great chance that you will spy an antler or two, usually at dusk.’
      • ‘They grow from pedicles that form at puberty and which, in time, become permanent protuberances from where antlers bud and are cast seasonally.’
      • ‘The branch next to the head is called the brow antler.’
      • ‘The two branch fork antlers are yellowish-red in the surface and have sparse, rough hair.’
      • ‘Here's a closeup of Mike now that his velvet has vanished, showing the injury on his right brow antler.’



/ˈantlər/ /ˈæntlər/


Late Middle English (originally denoting the lowest (forward-directed) branch of the antler): from Anglo-Norman French, variant of Old French antoillier, of unknown origin.