Tentacle | Encyclopedia.com (2024)

oxford

views updated May 23 2018

ten·ta·cle / ˈten(t)əkəl/ •n. a slender flexible limb or appendage in an animal, esp. around the mouth of an invertebrate, used for grasping, moving about, or bearing sense organs. (in a plant) a tendril or a sensitive glandular hair. something resembling a tentacle in shape or flexibility: trailing tentacles of vapor. (usu. tentacles) fig. an insidious spread of influence and control: the Party's tentacles reached into every nook and cranny of people's lives.DERIVATIVES: ten·ta·cled adj. [also in comb.] ten·tac·u·lar / tenˈtakyələr/ adj.ten·tac·u·late / tenˈtakyələt/ adj.

The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English

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views updated May 17 2018

tentacle
1. In many invertebrate animals, a long, slender, flexible structure, often bearing sense receptors, used to obtain information about the immediate environment and often to obtain food.

2. In corals and sea anemones, a movable, tubular extension of the body cavity; tentacles are arranged in a ring around the mouth.

3. In Cephalopoda, a movable modification of the soft body; tentacles surround the mouth and are sometimes studded with sucker discs.

A Dictionary of Zoology MICHAEL ALLABY

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views updated May 29 2018

tentacle Any of the soft flexible appendages in aquatic invertebrate animals that are used principally for feeding. Water flows over the tentacles, which are able to capture food and direct it to the oral aperture. Tentacles are possessed by many cnidarians, some echinoderms (including sea cucumbers), and by cephalopod molluscs, in which the tentacles bear rows of suckers.

A Dictionary of Biology

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oxford

views updated May 21 2018

tentacle XVIII. f. L. tentāre, var. of temptāre feel, try, TEMPT; see -CLE

The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology T. F. HOAD

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