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devil ray

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noun
  1. manta.

manta

[man-tuh; Spanish mahn-tah]
noun, plural man·tas [man-tuh z; Spanish mahn-tahs] /ˈmæn təz; Spanish ˈmɑn tɑs/.
  1. (in Spain and Spanish America) a cloak or wrap.
  2. the type of blanket or cloth used on a horse or mule.
  3. Military. a movable shelter formerly used to protect besiegers, as when attacking a fortress.
  4. Ichthyology. Also called manta ray, devil ray, devilfish. any of several tropical rays of the small family Mobulidae, especially of the genus Manta, measuring from 2 to 24 feet (0.6 to 7.3 meters) across, including the pectoral fins.

Origin of manta

1690–1700; < Spanish < Provençal: blanket. See mantle
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for devil-ray

manta

noun
  1. Also called: manta ray, devilfish, devil ray any large ray (fish) of the family Mobulidae, having very wide winglike pectoral fins and feeding on plankton
  2. a rough cotton cloth made in Spain and Spanish America
  3. a piece of this used as a blanket or shawl
  4. another word for mantelet (def. 2)

Word Origin

Spanish: cloak, from Vulgar Latin; see mantle. The manta ray is so called because it is caught in a trap resembling a blanket
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for devil-ray

manta

n.

very large ray (also called devilfish), 1760, from Spanish manta "blanket" (which is attested in English from 1748 in this sense, specifically in reference to a type of wrap or cloak worn by Spaniards), from Late Latin mantum "cloak," back-formation from Latin mantellum "cloak" (see mantle (n.)). The ray so called "for being broad and long like a quilt" [Jorge Juan and Antonio de Ulloa, "A Voyage to South America"].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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