(also praying mantis)Translate mantis | into Italian
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
mid 17th century: modern Latin, from Greek, literally 'prophet'