Share this entry

Share this page

mantis

Line breaks: man¦tis
Pronunciation: /ˈmantɪs
 
/
(also praying mantis)

Definition of mantis in English:

noun (plural same or mantises)

A slender predatory insect with a triangular head, which waits motionless for prey with its large forelegs folded like hands in prayer.
  • Suborder Mantodea, order Dictyoptera: Mantidae and other families, and many species, including Mantis religiosa of southern Europe
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'.

Words that rhyme with mantis

Atlantis

Definition of mantis in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day terpsichorean
Pronunciation: ˌtəːpsɪkəˈriːən
adjective
relating to dancing