- adapted for seizing, grasping, or taking hold of something: a prehensile tail.
- able to perceive quickly; having keen mental grasp.
- greedy; grasping; avaricious.
Origin of prehensile
Examples from the Web for prehensile
And where is his monkey that first lost the prehensile power to climb trees?Life: Its True Genesis
R. W. Wright
Not all the monkeys of America possess this prehensile power of tail.
What is wanted is the comprehensive hand, and not the prehensile tail.The History of Dartmouth College
Baxter Perry Smith
The tip of its tail, strange to say, is prehensile, just like that of a spider-monkey.The Animal World, A Book of Natural History
They form, in some sort, the prehensile organs which seize the aliment.The Ocean World:
- adapted for grasping, esp by wrapping around a supporta prehensile tail
Word Origin and History for prehensile
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.)).
- Adapted for seizing, grasping, or holding, especially by wrapping around an object.
- 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.