- a threadlike, leafless organ of climbing plants, often growing in spiral form, which attaches itself to or twines round some other body, so as to support the plant.
Origin of tendril
1530–40; earlier tendrel, variant (perhaps by dissimilation) of Middle English tendren, tendron < Middle French tendron shoot, sprout, cartilage
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for tendril
One woman is focused intently on wrapping and unwrapping a tendril of hair around her finger.If Porn Isn’t Art, Does It Still Have a Right to Exist?
May 2, 2012
Yes, she was my girl, devoted to me, attached to me by every tendril of her being.The Trail of '98
Robert W. Service
Phototropic response of the tendril of Passiflora: Experiment 145.Life Movements in Plants, Volume II, 1919
Sir Jagadis Chunder Bose
He plucks the tendril from a vine, smells it, and puts it in his mouth.Gorillas & Chimpanzees
R. L. Garner
Grapevines climbed the posts and tendril shadows were on the ground beneath.Mr. Achilles
Ah, never: but as you leave the garden—pluck one tendril from the vine.The King of Alsander
James Elroy Flecker
- a specialized threadlike part of a leaf or stem that attaches climbing plants to a support by twining or adhering
- something resembling a tendril, such as a wisp of hair
C16: perhaps from Old French tendron tendril (confused with Old French tendron bud), from Medieval Latin tendō tendon
Word Origin and History for tendril
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- A slender, coiling plant part, often a modified leaf or leaf part, that helps support the stem of some climbing angiosperms by clinging to or winding around an object. Peas, squash, and grapes produce tendrils.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.