- any of several predaceous insects of the order Mantidae, having a long prothorax and typically holding the forelegs in an upraised position as if in prayer.
Origin of mantis
Examples from the Web for mantis
An ex-wife of one of her conquests had even described her as a “praying mantis with a terminator smile”.France: Carla Bruni-Sarkozy Advises Valerie Trierweiler to Marry
October 26, 2012
A few days later, Hafernik found more bees, and again fed them to the mantis.When ‘Zombees’ Attack
October 11, 2012
I have seen the Mantis religiosa on a larger scale than this, now and then.The Poet at the Breakfast Table
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
Only if a thing fled did the mantis pursue with deadly ferocity.
But now obedience was forgotten because there was this young praying mantis.
Mantis's evil temper broke out: "She has done this, the malign one!"Sophy of Kravonia
Dr. Bleek identifies his name with that of the mantis insect.Myth, Ritual And Religion, Vol. 2 (of 2)
- any carnivorous typically green insect of the family Mantidae, of warm and tropical regions, having a long body and large eyes and resting with the first pair of legs raised as if in prayer: order DictyopteraAlso called: praying mantis See also cockroach
Word Origin and History for mantis
1650s, "type of insect that holds its forelegs in a praying position" (especially the praying mantis, Mantis religiosa), Modern Latin, from Greek mantis, literally "one who divines, a seer, prophet," from mainesthai "be inspired," related to menos "passion, spirit" (see mania). The insect so called for its way of holding the forelimbs as if in prayer. Also used in Greek for some sort of grasshopper (Theocritus).