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 In many parts of the world the praying mantis is encouraged because of their appetite for insect pests that damage crops. Ernie Cowan, San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 Oct. 2023 This pale-skinned home invader has long finger-like digits instead of toes, and stalks through Brynn’s bedroom like a praying mantis. Peter Debruge, Variety, 22 Sep. 2023 Reflective of Minecraft building blocks, schools of fish, sharks, and praying mantises snaked from screen to screen in a sea of blue. Kalia Richardson, Rolling Stone, 4 Sep. 2023 Creepy Crawler Pumpkin Line the walkway to your front door with bugs of all kind — beetles, spiders, praying mantis, and more. Annie O’Sullivan, Woman's Day, 18 Aug. 2023 Scientists have found that praying mantises, birds, spiders and other predators are willing to feed on the lanternfly, and an array of pesticides kill them, though those chemicals also harm good insects, as well. Christine Condon, Baltimore Sun, 26 June 2023 Parasitic wasps, lady beetles and the king of the hill — the praying mantis — all feed on those bad guys. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, 2 June 2023 In the end, Smith prevails in her battle, as a praying mantis devours another behind the closing credits. Neena Rouhani, Billboard, 18 Apr. 2023 Monday saw two separate instances of more than just human players on the baseball field — with a stray cat crashing the game at Yankee Stadium and a large praying mantis making an appearance at the Washington National's matchup against the Philadelphia Phillies. Gabrielle Chung,, 3 Aug. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'praying mantis.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1890, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of praying mantis was circa 1890

Dictionary Entries Near praying mantis

Cite this Entry

“Praying mantis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition

praying mantis

: mantis
especially : a European mantis that is now found in the U.S.

More from Merriam-Webster on praying mantis

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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