[ man-tis ]
/ ˈmæn tɪs /

noun, plural man·tis·es, man·tes [man-teez] /ˈmæn tiz/.

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.

Nearby words

  1. mantic,
  2. manticore,
  3. mantid,
  4. mantilla,
  5. mantinea,
  6. mantis shrimp,
  7. mantispid,
  8. mantissa,
  9. mantle,
  10. mantle plume

Also mantid.

Origin of mantis

1650–60; < New Latin < Greek mántis prophet, kind of insect; akin to mania

Also called praying mantis. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for mantis

British Dictionary definitions for mantis


/ (ˈmæntɪs) /

noun plural -tises or -tes (-tiːz)

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 for mantis

C17: New Latin, from Greek: prophet, alluding to its praying posture

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 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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper