Definition of nacelle in English:



  • 1A streamlined casing on the outside of an aircraft or motor vehicle, especially one housing an aircraft engine.

    ‘a grey aircraft with NAVY painted on the engine nacelles’
    • ‘The center section of the wing, installed beneath the fuselage, carried the two engine nacelles and the retractable landing gear.’
    • ‘The oil tanks were carried in each engine nacelle.’
    • ‘The engine nacelles extend well beyond the wings' leading edges.’
    • ‘Oil and fuel coming from three failed cylinders created a fire on the outboard side of the engine nacelle.’
    • ‘I could clearly see his engine nacelles, fuselage, wings and tail in the dark.’
    1. 1.1 The passenger compartment of an airship.


Early 20th century (originally denoting the car of an airship): from French, from late Latin navicella, diminutive of Latin navis ‘ship’.