prehensile

[pri-hen-sil, -sahyl]
See more synonyms for prehensile on Thesaurus.com
adjective
  1. adapted for seizing, grasping, or taking hold of something: a prehensile tail.
  2. able to perceive quickly; having keen mental grasp.
  3. greedy; grasping; avaricious.

Origin of prehensile

1781–85; < French préhensile (coined by Buffon), equivalent to Latin prehens(us) (see prehension) + French -ile -ile
Related formspre·hen·sil·i·ty [pree-hen-sil-i-tee] /ˌpri hɛnˈsɪl ɪ ti/, nounnon·pre·hen·sile, adjectivesub·pre·hen·sile, adjectivesub·pre·hen·sil·i·ty, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for prehensile

Historical Examples of prehensile


British Dictionary definitions for prehensile

prehensile

adjective
  1. adapted for grasping, esp by wrapping around a supporta prehensile tail
Derived Formsprehensility (ˌpriːhɛnˈsɪlɪtɪ), noun

Word Origin for prehensile

C18: from French préhensile, from Latin prehendere to grasp
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 prehensile
adj.

1771, from French préhensile "adapted for grasping" (Buffon), from Latin prehensus, past participle of prehendere "to grasp, to seize," from prae- "before" (see pre-) + -hendere, related to hedera "ivy," via notion of "clinging," and cognate with Greek khandanein "to take in, hold" (see get (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

prehensile in Medicine

prehensile

[prē-hĕnsəl, -sīl′]
adj.
  1. Adapted for seizing, grasping, or holding, especially by wrapping around an object.
Related formspre′hen•sili•ty (-sĭlĭ-tē) n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

prehensile in Science

prehensile

[prē-hĕnsəl]
  1. Adapted for seizing, grasping, or holding, especially by wrapping around an object. The feet of many birds, the tails of monkeys, and the trunks of elephants are prehensile.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.