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Definition of "mantis" []

  • Any of various predatory insects of the family Mantidae, primarily tropical but including a few Temperate Zone species, usually pale green and having two pairs of walking legs and powerful grasping forelimbs. The mantis feeds on live insects, including others of its own kind. Also called mantid. (noun)
  • 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 Dictyoptera (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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Use "mantis" in a sentence
  • "The praying mantis is the only insect that can turn its head 360 degrees."
  • "The hummer measured 2 inches and the mantis was about the same!"
  • "The mantis is a fresh hatchling, tiny and delicate as an ant."