Definition of tentacle in English:

tentacle

Syllabification: ten·ta·cle
Pronunciation: /ˈten(t)ək(ə)l
 
/

noun

1A slender flexible limb or appendage in an animal, especially around the mouth of an invertebrate, used for grasping, moving about, or bearing sense organs.
More example sentences
  • The feature shared by this group is the lophophore, an unusual feeding appendage bearing hollow tentacles.
  • These feet are long, thin, flexible tentacles ending in tiny suction cups.
  • The tentacles around the mouth are disposed in concentric circles, usually forming a series of radial lines rather than being alternately arranged.
1.1(In a plant) a tendril or a sensitive glandular hair.
More example sentences
  • The mychorrhizal fungi live on the roots and physically extend the plant's reach for nutrients and water with hairlike tentacles called hyphae.
  • It was partially obscured by the wilted tentacles of a suspended epiphyte.
  • Nearby spread the prehistoric-looking tentacles of Welwitschia plants that date from the age of the dinosaurs.
1.2Something resembling a tentacle in shape or flexibility: trailing tentacles of vapor
1.3 (usually tentacles) An insidious spread of influence and control: the Party’s tentacles reached into every nook and cranny of people’s lives
More example sentences
  • The bank grew three fold in its network in the '70s and spread its tentacles in seven other states.
  • The drought has spread its tentacles deep inside the jungle.
  • In China, 17 percent of the population has yet to hear of AIDS, even as the disease spreads its tentacles there.

Origin

mid 18th century: anglicized from modern Latin tentaculum, from Latin tentare, temptare 'to feel, try'.

Derivatives

tentacled

adjective
[also in combination]
More example sentences
  • We knew that this monster is hydra-headed, many tentacled.
  • The common space between offices is dominated by a series of sculptures, such as a cross between an acorn and a human head and a freestanding metallic, tentacled thing strewn across the floor.
  • Nationally-protected tentacled lagoon worms were discovered at the site of the £124m Channel Tunnel Rail Link bridge works over the River Medway.

tentacular

Pronunciation: /tenˈtakyələr/
adjective
More example sentences
  • The grands corps were the powerhouses of the state, and established a tentacular grasp on other key institutions.
  • The response consists of tentacular writhing and mouth opening and is similar to the feeding response seen in A. pallida.
  • Davidson emphasized the Port Authority's openness to criticism by showing how the plan incorporates the original terminal's tentacular tubes, omitted from a first scheme.

tentaculate

Pronunciation: /tenˈtakyələt/
adjective
More example sentences
  • The size of the tube of Eodiorygma is only slightly greater than that of the feeding stage of Symbion, which has a U-shaped alimentary tract, tentaculate apparatus, and larval ability to settle on live tissue.
  • Two tentaculate surface deposit feeders, Streblospio benedicti and Marenzelleria viridis were tested; one in the laboratory and one in the field.
  • But look carefully and you will see the tentaculate zooids that confirm their animal nature.

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