Definition of prehensile in English:


Syllabification: pre·hen·sile
Pronunciation: /prēˈhensəl, -ˌsīl


  • (Chiefly of an animal’s limb or tail) capable of grasping.
    More example sentences
    • The plate in the field guide shows a strange, golden-brown animal with a prehensile tail, hook-like claws and a funny snub nose.
    • Nocturnal and arboreal, they clamber up trees and hang from limbs thanks to long prehensile tails and opposable inside toes (like thumbs) on their hind feet.
    • Coendou and Sphiggurus are arboreal animals, with long, spineless, prehensile tails and wide foot pads.



Pronunciation: /prēˌhenˈsilətē/


late 18th century: from French préhensile, from Latin prehens- 'grasped', from the verb prehendere, from prae 'before' + hendere 'to grasp'.

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