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

Then split the body into individual tentacles and remove the beak. Dallas News, "Sous vide school: 3 top Dallas chefs teach us how to cook chicken, steak and even octopus," 20 Aug. 2019 The caramelized tentacles of the squid were crunchy outside and silky inside; the swordfish was impossibly juicy. Seth Kugel, New York Times, "A Whirlwind, Round-the-World Food Tour of Queens," 1 July 2019 The latest series returns to its loner, neo-Gothic roots, so to speak, with dark magic baddies and creeping tentacles everywhere, as well as a supernatural subplot featuring one of DC’s most obscure vigilantes — Blue Devil. Frederick Melo, Twin Cities, "Superheroes behaving badly: 12 crusading TV series target mature audiences," 4 Aug. 2019 Then a protrusion — an arm, a leg, or perhaps a tentacle — pops out. Joshua Bote, USA TODAY, "Relax: That viral video of 'zombie chicken' crawling off a plate isn't chicken (probably)," 26 July 2019 Donovan also notes that Kennedy's assassination in Dallas gave flight to a conspiracy movement whose tentacles now extend to all sorts of wacky imaginings. Michael Granberry, Dallas News, "Dallas author warns about Apollo 11 moon landing hoax theories, but says we can and will go back," 16 July 2019 She gets bitten by the Flay-Monster (a huge, shape-shifting thing with Graboid-like tentacles), and despite removing the parasite planted in her leg, that brief infection neutralizes her telekinetic powers. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Flay your mind: Stranger Things S3 just might be the show’s best season yet," 15 July 2019 This dish is a delicious serving of calamari rings and tentacles tossed in a umami glaze. Camila Vallejo, courant.com, "Happy hour of the month: Tisane Euro Asian Cafe in Hartford," 9 July 2019 Many major cities in the U.S. were doing the same, stretching tentacles of rail into the countryside and building villages around the stations. Andrew Moore, National Geographic, "To build the cities of the future, we must get out of our cars," 17 June 2019

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

borrowed from New Latin tentāculum, from Latin temptāre, tentāre "to feel, test, examine" + -culum, suffix of instrument (going back to Indo-European *-tlom) — more at tempt

Note: The Latin word was used by linnaeus in the second edition (1740) of Systema naturae and may have been coined by him.

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Statistics for tentacle

Last Updated

2 Sep 2019

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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

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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authorized for issue (as a bond)

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