Definition of mantis in English:

mantis

Syllabification: man·tis
Pronunciation: /ˈmantis
 
/
(also praying mantis)

noun (plural same or mantises)

  • A slender predatory insect related to the cockroach. It waits motionless for prey with its large spiky forelegs folded like hands in prayer.
    • Suborder Mantodea, order Dictyoptera: Mantidae and other families, and many species, including Mantis religiosa, introduced to America from southern Europe and now found commonly in the northeastern US
    More example sentences
    • A newcomer could easily get lost in its tunnels, and the unwary is easy prey to predatory wasps or mantises.
    • The creatures look part stick insect, part mantis, with a touch of grasshopper.
    • Some insects also hunt down spiders, including the mantis and a wasp that specializes in catching and paralyzing spiders.

Origin

mid 17th century: modern Latin, from Greek, literally 'prophet'.

More definitions of mantis

Definition of mantis in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day skosh
Pronunciation: skəʊʃ
noun
a small amount; a little