mantis

noun
man·​tis | \ ˈman-təs How to pronounce mantis (audio) \
plural mantises also mantes\ ˈman-​ˌtēz How to pronounce mantes (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 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, "Lesson of the Day: ‘Praying Mantises: More Deadly Than We Knew’," 15 May 2020 Among the newfound creatures are unicorn mantises, which have mysterious, hornlike structures on their heads, as seen above on a member of the genus Zoolea. Magnus Wennman, National Geographic, "See our three favorite scientific breakthroughs this month," 17 June 2019 The findings could even inspire robots that navigate the world like the mantises—save for grabbing prey with spiky arms and decapitating them. Matt Simon, WIRED, "Why These Praying Mantises Are Wearing Itty-Bitty 3D Glasses," 9 Aug. 2019 Haley Heynderickx turned small moments like catching a mantis into delicate, affecting indie-folk gems. Terence Cawley, BostonGlobe.com, "Second day of Newport Folk Fest brings big surprises," 28 July 2019 About my work The Mantis Expedition was a journey in the Atlantic Forest to find the elusive praying mantis. National Geographic, "See Rio like a Nat Geo Explorer," 11 Mar. 2019 Kreuze has been scooping the hordes of mantises into a giant box with the hope of giving them to someone who actually wants to live with praying mantises. Jenny Hollander, Marie Claire, "Dozens of Praying Mantis Babies Crawled Out of a Woman's Christmas Tree," 9 Jan. 2019 The mantises have made themselves quite at home, in fact. Jenny Hollander, Marie Claire, "Dozens of Praying Mantis Babies Crawled Out of a Woman's Christmas Tree," 9 Jan. 2019 This discovery isn’t necessarily surprising; modern arthropods, like mantises and arachnids, are also well-developed predators from an early age, the researchers note. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "This Prehistoric Sea Creature Had Fanged, Killer Babies," 11 June 2018

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.

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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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Time Traveler for mantis

Time Traveler

The first known use of mantis was in 1646

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Statistics for mantis

Last Updated

19 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Mantis.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mantis. Accessed 25 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for mantis

mantis

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

Kids Definition of mantis

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More from Merriam-Webster on mantis

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mantis

Spanish Central: Translation of mantis

Nglish: Translation of mantis for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about mantis

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