proboscis

[ proh-bos-is, -kis ]
/ proʊˈbɒs ɪs, -kɪs /

noun, plural pro·bos·cis·es, pro·bos·ci·des [proh-bos-i-deez] /proʊˈbɒs ɪˌdiz/.

the trunk of an elephant.
any long flexible snout, as of the tapir.
Also called beak. the elongate, protruding mouth parts of certain insects, adapted for sucking or piercing.
any of various elongate feeding, defensive, or sensory organs of the oral region, as in certain leeches and worms.
Facetious. the human nose, especially when unusually long or prominent.

RELATED WORDS


Nearby words

  1. problematic,
  2. problematical,
  3. problematics,
  4. proboscidate,
  5. proboscidean,
  6. proboscis monkey,
  7. probusiness,
  8. proc.,
  9. procaine,
  10. procaine amide

Origin of proboscis

1570–80; < Latin < Greek proboskís elephant's trunk, literally, feeder, equivalent to pro- pro-2 + bósk(ein) to feed + -is (stem -id-) noun suffix

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for proboscis


British Dictionary definitions for proboscis

proboscis

/ (prəʊˈbɒsɪs) /

noun plural -cises or -cides (-sɪˌdiːz)

a long flexible prehensile trunk or snout, as of an elephant
the elongated mouthparts of certain insects, adapted for piercing or sucking food
any similar part or organ
informal, facetious a person's nose, esp if large

Word Origin for proboscis

C17: via Latin from Greek proboskis trunk of an elephant, from boskein to feed

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 proboscis

proboscis

n.

c.1600, "elephant's trunk," from Latin proboscis (Pliny), from Greek proboskis "elephant's trunk," literally "means for taking food," from pro "forward" (see pro-) + boskein "to nourish, feed," from boskesthai "graze, be fed," from stem *bot- (cf. botane "grass, fodder;" see botanic).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for proboscis

proboscis

[ prō-bŏsĭs ]

Plural proboscises proboscides (prō-bŏsĭ-dēz′)

A long, flexible snout or trunk, as of an elephant.
The slender, tubular feeding and sucking organ of certain invertebrates, such as butterflies and mosquitoes.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.