[ man-tuh; Spanish mahn-tah ]
See synonyms for manta on
noun,plural man·tas [man-tuhz; Spanish mahn-tahs]. /ˈmæn təz; Spanish ˈmɑn tɑs/.
  1. (in Spain and Spanish America) a cloak or wrap.

  2. a type of blanket or cloth used on a horse or mule.

  1. Military. a movable shelter formerly used to protect besiegers, as when attacking a fortress.

  2. Also called man·ta ray [man-tuh-rey], /ˈmæn tə ˌreɪ/, dev·il ray [dev-uhl rey]: /ˈdɛv əl ˌreɪ/: devilfish. Ichthyology. 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

First recorded in 1690–1700; from Spanish, from Provençal: literally, “blanket”; see mantle

Words Nearby manta

Other definitions for Manta (2 of 2)

[ mahn-tah, -tuh ]

  1. a seaport in W Ecuador, on Manta Bay. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use manta in a sentence

  • Then he pointed to the beautifully worked manta, “Did she squander wealth of hers on that?”

    The Treasure Trail | Marah Ellis Ryan
  • Miss Dolores had consented to wear a manta de Manila or soft shawl wound gracefully around her, and in her hair a red clavel.

    The Four Corners Abroad | Amy Ella Blanchard
  • It is not likely, however, that the manta devours anything larger than the pearl-oyster itself.

  • He disguised himself as an antelope, by means of a cloak of cotton cloth (manta) painted to resemble the colouring of the animal.

British Dictionary definitions for manta


/ (ˈmæntə, Spanish ˈmanta) /

  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

  1. a piece of this used as a blanket or shawl

  2. another word for mantelet (def. 2)

Origin of manta

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