praying mantis

noun

Definition of praying mantis

: mantis especially : a European mantis (Mantis religiosa) that has been introduced into the U.S.

called also praying mantid

Examples of praying mantis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Science Researchers at Newcastle University, UK have been studying stereoscopic vision in praying mantises by having them wear tiny 3D glasses. Megan Molteni, WIRED, "Colonies of Aggressive, Social Spiders Boom After a Hurricane," 19 Aug. 2019 An armadillo, a praying mantis and a snake have appeared. Christopher Arnott, courant.com, "Review: Inside Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Luzia’ tent, you’ll find pure enchantment," 20 June 2019 Unlike their magical namesake, the praying mantises of the Atlantic Forest are experts in the art of blending in. Magnus Wennman, National Geographic, "See our three favorite scientific breakthroughs this month," 17 June 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 Other insects include psocids (small, winged, grey creatures), praying mantis', mites, and ticks when the weather is unseasonably warm outside. Lauren Smith, Good Housekeeping, "Your Christmas Tree Might Be Filled With Bugs," 29 Nov. 2016 Now, as Ed Yong reports for the Atlantic, researchers equipped praying mantises with tiny goggles to figure out how stereopsis works in a critter with so few neurons. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Praying Mantises Don Tiny Goggles to Help Us Understand 3-D Vision," 10 Feb. 2018 And surprisingly, so does the tiny-brained praying mantises. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Praying Mantises Don Tiny Goggles to Help Us Understand 3-D Vision," 10 Feb. 2018 Unlike her mother, the little girl was not afraid of the praying mantis and was happy to have made a new bug friend. Karen Zurawski, Houston Chronicle, "Moms, daughters learn, volunteer together," 6 Mar. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of praying mantis

circa 1890, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about praying mantis

Statistics for praying mantis

Last Updated

13 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for praying mantis

The first known use of praying mantis was circa 1890

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for praying mantis

praying mantis

noun

English Language Learners Definition of praying mantis

: a large insect that eats other insects by holding them in its raised front legs

praying mantis

noun
\ ˌprā-iŋ-\

Kids Definition of praying mantis

: a large usually green insect that feeds on other insects which are held in the raised front legs

More from Merriam-Webster on praying mantis

Spanish Central: Translation of praying mantis

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about praying mantis

Comments on praying mantis

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

WORD OF THE DAY

friendly or mild

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!