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 So what impact will taking out Baghdadi have on the rest of those tentacles? CBS News, "Transcript: Vice President Mike Pence on "Face the Nation," October 27, 2019," 27 Oct. 2019 Passing through today, there’s little evidence that this desert was once home to the world’s largest military installation, with its boundaries spreading like tentacles across Southern California, Arizona and Nevada. Jennifer Nalewicki, Smithsonian, "This Desert Is Covered in Rock Graffiti," 22 Aug. 2019 Incredibly, Van Herpen also managed to capture the limp gravity of tentacles moving under water in a series of multicolored three-dimensional gowns with divergent, floating layers. Washington Post, "Dior goes black in Paris show that celebrates couture roots," 1 July 2019 Make sure that the tentacles and other pieces do not overlap, to prevent them from cooking unevenly. Dallas News, "Sous vide school: 3 top Dallas chefs teach us how to cook chicken, steak and even octopus," 20 Aug. 2019 There are also brief scenes of massive tentacles attacking Pattinson and a mysterious mermaid-like creature, suggest our leading men will have more to deal with than just bad storms. Zoya Ansari And Brian Ries, CNN, "'The Lighthouse' trailer shows Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson's creepy descent into madness," 30 July 2019 In contrast to age-old rings and tentacles, Fellow slices thick calamari steaks into tender batons, encased in a battered shell both crunchy and light — deftly executed and served with mint aioli or romesco, depending on the season. Dominic Armato, azcentral, "Fellow Osteria in Scottsdale is too interesting to ignore but too inconsistent to embrace," 16 July 2019 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

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

11 Nov 2019

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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