ten·​ta·​cle | \ ˈten-ti-kəl How to pronounce tentacle (audio) \

Definition of tentacle

1 : any of various elongate flexible usually tactile or prehensile processes borne by invertebrate animals chiefly on the head or about the mouth
2 : something that resembles a tentacle especially in or as if in grasping or feeling out corruption spreading its tentacles
3 : a sensitive hair or emergence on a plant (such as the sundew)

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Other Words from tentacle

tentacled \ ˈten-​ti-​kəld How to pronounce tentacled (audio) \ adjective

Examples of tentacle in a Sentence

The corporation's tentacles are felt in every sector of the industry. the tentacles of organized crime

Recent Examples on the Web

There’s a trailer to celebrate the occasion, complete with four-eyed penguins and some sort of spiky tentacle nightmare-creature. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: The sordid tale of Starbreeze's stumbles, Overwatch players learn piano (with guns)," 1 Feb. 2019 Amazon has its tentacles in various industries — retail, cloud services, grocery, content, ebooks, home assistants, and, most recently, pharmacy — and has financial leeway that allows it to take risks where its competitors cannot. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Happy Prime Day! Experts worry Amazon is building a dangerous monopoly.," 17 July 2018 More specifically, WebMD recommends rinsing the affected area with vinegar for 30 seconds before removing the creature’s tentacles with tweezers. Madeline Farber, Fox News, "South Carolina beach sees rise in Man O'War stings, sightings, officials say," 10 Aug. 2018 The deceased squid in Silver Point had two long tentacles and eight arms — each containing an average of 50 to 60 suckers. Jennifer Earl, Fox News, "Rare 10-foot squid washes up on Oregon beach," 6 Aug. 2018 Sue Doster, 53, struggled to hold up her top hat, a foam sailboat being sunk by the red tentacles of a kraken sea monster. Luis FerrÉ-sadurnÍ, New York Times, "Only in New York: Easter Parade With Moai Heads and a Kraken," 1 Apr. 2018 The country is hosting its first Winter Games amid a national reckoning about big business, politics and the tentacles of influence that link them. Raymond Zhong And Park Jeong-eun, New York Times, "For Korea Inc., Money and Politics Make an Awkward Olympics," 7 Feb. 2018 Corals are invertebrate animals with simple stomachs and mouths surrounded by tentacles. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, "Ruth Gates Raced to Save Coral Reefs by Breeding Hardier Specimens," 2 Nov. 2018 Dangling from the brain like the tentacles of a jellyfish, olfactory neurons are the only part of the central nervous system constantly exposed to the outside world. Tim Folger, Discover Magazine, "How Quantum Mechanics Lets Us See, Smell and Touch," 24 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tentacle.' 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 tentacle

circa 1762, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for tentacle

New Latin tentaculum, from Latin tentare to feel, touch — more at tempt

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Statistics for tentacle

Last Updated

18 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tentacle

The first known use of tentacle was circa 1762

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More Definitions for tentacle


ten·​ta·​cle | \ ˈten-tə-kəl How to pronounce tentacle (audio) \

Kids Definition of tentacle

: one of the long thin flexible parts that stick out around the head or the mouth of an animal (as a jellyfish or sea anemone) and are used especially for feeling or grasping


ten·​ta·​cle | \ ˈtent-i-kəl How to pronounce tentacle (audio) \

Medical Definition of tentacle

: any of various elongate flexible usually tactile or prehensile processes borne by animals chiefly on the head or about the mouth especially : one of the threadlike processes bearing nematocysts that hang down from the margin of the umbrella of many jellyfishes

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More from Merriam-Webster on tentacle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tentacle

Spanish Central: Translation of tentacle

Nglish: Translation of tentacle for Spanish Speakers

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