Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

tendril

play
noun ten·dril \ˈten-drəl\

Simple Definition of tendril

  • : the thin stem of a climbing plant that attaches to walls, fences, etc.

  • : something that is thin and curly

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of tendril

  1. 1 :  a leaf, stipule, or stem modified into a slender spirally coiling sensitive organ serving to attach a climbing plant to its support

  2. 2 :  something suggestive of a tendril <creeping tendrils of fog>

tendriled or tendrilled play \-drəld\ adjective
tendrilous play \-drə-ləs\ adjective

Examples of tendril in a sentence

  1. A few tendrils of hair framed her face.



Illustration of tendril

Origin of tendril

probably modification of Middle French tendron bud, cartilage, alteration of Old French tenrum, from Vulgar Latin *tenerumen, from Latin tener tender — more at tender


First Known Use: 1538


TENDRIL Defined for Kids

tendril

play
noun ten·dril \ˈten-drəl\

Definition of tendril for Students

  1. 1 :  a slender leafless winding stem by which some climbing plants attach themselves to a support

  2. 2 :  something that winds like a plant's tendril <tendrils of hair>




Learn More about tendril


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up tendril? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a timid, meek, or unassertive person

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alt-5746713d76276

Which of these is a synonym of nonplus?

perplex disapprove soothe reduce
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ