man·​tis | \ ˈman-təs How to pronounce mantis (audio) \
plural mantises also mantes\ ˈman-​ˌtēz How to pronounce mantis (audio) \

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

Illustration of mantis

Examples of mantis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Turning the conversation to his pride in his teammates is as familiar a Horford move as one of his praying-mantis corner threes. Globe Staff,, 30 May 2022 Instead, the focus is on insects of various sorts — a mantis, flies, numerous others; no designations are given — moving and buzzing against a white cloth background under harsh artificial light., 2 Sep. 2021 But new research adds a strange anatomical wrinkle to the love life of an Amazonian species called the dragon mantis. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, 28 Apr. 2021 Right now, this dead leaf mantis is the size of an ant., 30 Apr. 2021 To inflate this smelly love balloon, the mantis pumps it full of a fluid called hemolymph, which is a bit like blood for invertebrates. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, 28 Apr. 2021 The Congo green mantis opens its mouth, shows its colorful forelegs and spreads its wings. Cara Giaimo, New York Times, 3 Sep. 2020 Without hesitating, the hornet rushed the mantis and bit off its head. Steve Bender, Southern Living, 27 May 2020 Watch this one-minute video, from a 2013 Times article, that documents how cheetahs hunt their prey: Then, rewatch the video of the preying mantis and answer the following questions: What is similar about how each animal captures its prey? Nicole Daniels, New York Times, 15 May 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mantis.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of mantis

1646, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for mantis

New Latin, from Greek, literally, diviner, prophet; akin to Greek mainesthai to be mad — more at mania

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Cite this Entry

“Mantis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for mantis


man·​tis | \ ˈman-təs How to pronounce mantis (audio) \
plural mantises also mantes\ ˈman-​ˌtēz \

Kids Definition of mantis

More from Merriam-Webster on mantis

Nglish: Translation of mantis for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about mantis


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