noun \ˈman-təs\
plural man·tis·es also man·tes \ˈman-ˌtēz\

Definition of MANTIS

:  any of an order or suborder (Mantodea and especially family Mantidae) of large usually green insects that feed on other insects and clasp their prey in forelimbs held up as if in prayer

Illustration of MANTIS

Origin of MANTIS

New Latin, from Greek, literally, diviner, prophet; akin to Greek mainesthai to be mad — more at mania
First Known Use: 1646

Rhymes with MANTIS


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Any of more than 1,500 species of the insect suborder Mantodea (order Orthoptera). The long-bodied, slow-moving mantis (or mantid) eats only living insects, using its large forelimbs to capture and hold its struggling prey. The female is likely to eat the male after mating. The European Mantis religiosa and the Chinese mantis (Tenodera aridifolia sinensis) have been introduced to North America. The latter grows to 3–8 in. (8–20 cm) long. The name mantis (“diviner”) reflects an ancient Greek belief in its supernatural powers.

Variants of MANTIS

mantis or praying mantis


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