praying mantis


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

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 Swackhamer said researchers also have found a number of insects and parasitoid wasps that show promise as predators, including certain spiders and varieties of praying mantis. Jonathan M. Pitts, Washington Post, "Maryland is bracing for an invasion of lanternflies, and racing to slow their spread," 28 Feb. 2018 To test this, Norris and his colleagues recently conducted an experiment using fruit flies and one of the flies’ natural predators: praying mantises. Joshua Rapp Learn, The Atlantic, "Can Fear Alone Drive Animals to Extinction?," 11 Oct. 2017 Danes' eyes widen and her head tilts quizzically to one side like a praying mantis. Txema Yeste, Marie Claire, ""I Was in Agony": Claire Danes on the Leap of Faith That Changed Her Life," 9 Jan. 2017

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.

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First Known Use of praying mantis

circa 1890, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for praying mantis

Last Updated

1 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for praying mantis

The first known use of praying mantis was circa 1890

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More Definitions for praying mantis

praying mantis


English Language Learners Definition of praying mantis

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

praying mantis

\ 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 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).


an act or instance of returning to life

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