ten·​dril ˈten-drəl How to pronounce tendril (audio)
: a leaf, stipule, or stem modified into a slender spirally coiling sensitive organ serving to attach a climbing plant to its support
: something suggestive of a tendril
creeping tendrils of fog
tendriled adjective
or tendrilled
tendrilous adjective

Illustration of tendril

Illustration of tendril
  • tendril 1

Examples of tendril in a Sentence

A few tendrils of hair framed her face.
Recent Examples on the Web The musician's locs were gathered up high atop her head with a handful of pieces of hair pulled out from the bun and spiked straight outwards, finished with two skinny tendrils of hair on either side of her face. Kara Nesvig, Allure, 13 June 2024 This initial study focused on Jupiter’s cyclones, the team was also intrigued by the wispy tendrils or filaments in between the cyclone’s gassy vortices. Laura Baisas, Popular Science, 6 June 2024 The dish to order: A fresh and flavorful Spring Tabbouleh salad with pea tendrils, mint, pistachio dukkah, and preserved lemon vinaigrette. Todd Plummer, Condé Nast Traveler, 5 June 2024 But the Neuralink device continued to lose its connection, the tendrils gradually sliding out of the tissue of his brain and presumably resting in the fluid that surrounds it. Christina Jewett, New York Times, 22 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for tendril 

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

Word History


probably modification of Middle French tendron bud, cartilage, alteration of Old French tenrum, from Vulgar Latin *tenerumen, from Latin tener tender — more at tender entry 1

First Known Use

1538, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of tendril was in 1538

Dictionary Entries Near tendril

Cite this Entry

“Tendril.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tendril. Accessed 16 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


ten·​dril ˈten-drəl How to pronounce tendril (audio)
: a slender leafless winding stem by which some climbing plants fasten themselves to a support
: something that curls like a tendril
tendrils of hair

More from Merriam-Webster on tendril

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