man·​ta ˈman-tə How to pronounce manta (audio)
: a square piece of cloth or blanket used in southwestern U.S. and Latin America usually as a cloak or shawl
[American Spanish, from Spanish; from its shape] : manta ray

Example Sentences

a manta glided along the sea bottom
Recent Examples on the Web Lopez attended the mass Sunday night in Our Lady of Guadalupe’s outfit: a red gown and a green manta, or cape, studded with yellow stars. Caroline Kubzansky, Chicago Tribune, 12 Dec. 2022 The manta are assembled in foil trays and baked until the middle is just cooked and still juicy, the tops are crisp around the edges and the bottoms resemble al dente pasta. Jenn Harriscolumnist, Los Angeles Times, 7 Nov. 2022 Very large manta rays were heading right for our floatie. Demetria Gallegos, WSJ, 18 Aug. 2022 Pate's group has identified 125 individual manta rays across a study area that runs from Stuart to Fort Lauderdale. Arkansas Online, 27 Feb. 2022 Over the years, the sea passages between the islands have seen wave and tidal machines that bring to mind steel manta rays and undulating sea snakes. Washington Post, 9 Nov. 2021 After the successful impromptu rescue, the divers registered the oceanic manta in a database for the vulnerable species, naming the female animal Spi-Phyll. Kelli Bender,, 30 Sep. 2021 There is also genetic evidence, to be published in a forthcoming paper, that the Florida manta rays belong to a third, new species of manta ray, Pate adds. Bethany Augliere, National Geographic, 3 Sep. 2020 While the smaller reef manta has an impressive wingspan of about 11 feet wide on average, the giant oceanic manta ray—the largest species of ray—can have a wingspan of up to 29 feet. National Geographic, 26 Aug. 2019 See More

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

Word History


Spanish, alteration of manto cloak, from Late Latin mantus, probably back-formation from Latin mantellum mantle

First Known Use

1697, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of manta was in 1697

Dictionary Entries Near manta

Cite this Entry

“Manta.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Mar. 2023.

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