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prehensile

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

Definition of prehensile in English:

adjective

(Chiefly of an animal’s limb or tail) capable of grasping.
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.

Origin

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

More
  • prison from (Old English):

    This comes via Old French from Latin prehendere ‘to seize’. Prehendere is a rich source of English words, being found, amongst many, in apprehend (late 16th century), comprehend (late 16th century); prehensile (late 18th century); and reprehensible (Late Middle English). A shortening of prehendere lies behind praedari ‘plunder’ and praeda ‘booty’, which lie behind depredation (Late Middle English); predatory [L16]; and prey (Middle English).

Derivatives

prehensility

1
Pronunciation: /prēˌhenˈsilətē/
noun

Words that rhyme with prehensile

extensile, tensile

Definition of prehensile in:

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