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 For a paper published this week in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Dr. Umbers and her colleagues investigated these mysteries by comparing the displays of several dozen praying mantis species, gleaned from centuries of observations. Cara Giaimo, New York Times, "How a Praying Mantis Says ‘Boo!’," 3 Sep. 2020 Described as half human, half praying mantis, the curious figure, described in a paper recently published in the Journal of Orthoptera Research, still largely eludes explanation. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Possible Half-Human, Half-Praying-Mantis Carving Found on Ancient Rocks," 19 Mar. 2020 Just as the female praying mantis eats her mate after copulation, so too can borrowers and lenders fall swiftly out of love. The Economist, "A borrowers’ catch-22 African governments face a wall of debt repayments," 6 June 2020 A few of the young players — Barrett; Mitchell Robinson, an Elongated Man leaper of a center; and Frank Ntilikina, the Rwandan-French guard with the praying mantis arms — have improved. Michael Powell, New York Times, "The Knicks Were 0-for-Los Angeles, but There May Be Signs of Hope," 8 Jan. 2020 Between 2017 and 2018, researchers happened upon the five-and-a-half-inch glyph that depicts what looks like a praying mantis with circles at the end of its limbs. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, "Investigating an Ancient Mystery: What Is the 'Mantis-Man'?," 18 Mar. 2020 One other invertebrate, the praying mantis, evolved this way, as proven in their own tiny 3D glasses study from about a year ago. Sara Kiley Watson, Popular Science, "Cuttlefish perceive depth—and they wore 3D glasses to prove it," 9 Jan. 2020 Remarkably, both praying mantises and cuttlefish are unfazed by these inverted background patterns. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Scientists Velcroed 3-D Glasses to Cuttlefish to Study Their Depth Perception," 8 Jan. 2020 It was inspired by research in which praying mantises in 3-D glasses helped answer a similar question. New York Times, "Yes, This Cuttlefish Is Wearing 3-D Glasses," 8 Jan. 2020

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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The first known use of praying mantis was circa 1890

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Cite this Entry

“Praying mantis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Nov. 2020.

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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

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