flehmen

noun
fleh·​men | \ ˈflā-mən How to pronounce flehmen (audio) \

Definition of flehmen

: a mammalian behavior (as of horses or cats) in which the animal inhales with the mouth open and upper lip curled to facilitate exposure of the vomeronasal organ to a scent or pheromone

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Other Words from flehmen

flehmen intransitive verb

Did You Know?

Flehmen comes to English by way of German, in which language the word applies to animals and means "to curl the upper lip." The German source of the English word is a verb, and the English word is also used-albeit rarely-as a verb, as in "the horse flehmened." More often, though, the verbal form is actually a gerund: "the horse's flehmening." "Flehmen" is sometimes capitalized in English, as nouns are in German, but more often it is lowercase.

First Known Use of flehmen

1970, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for flehmen

German, from flehmen (of animals) to curl the upper lip

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Time Traveler for flehmen

Time Traveler

The first known use of flehmen was in 1970

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Cite this Entry

“Flehmen.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flehmen. Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

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