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prehensile

IPA

How to pronounce prehensile (audio)

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Dictionary definition of prehensile

Referring to a body part or appendage that possesses the ability to grasp, seize, or hold objects.
"The monkey's tail was prehensile, able to grasp and hold objects."

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Detailed meaning of prehensile

When applied to biology or anatomy, it signifies the ability of a specific body part to wrap around or firmly grip items, often for purposes such as feeding, climbing, or manipulation. For instance, prehensile tails in some species of primates allow them to grasp and hang from tree branches, while prehensile fingers and hands in humans are essential for fine motor skills and object manipulation. This term emphasizes adaptability and dexterity in these body parts, showcasing their capacity for intricate and coordinated movements that enable a wide range of functions. In essence, "prehensile" underscores the specialized and often versatile nature of these appendages, highlighting their unique ability to interact with and manipulate the environment.

Example sentences containing prehensile

1. The monkey's prehensile tail allowed it to swing effortlessly through the trees.
2. The chameleon's prehensile tongue quickly snatched up the insect.
3. The prehensile grasp of the infant tightly held onto the parent's finger.
4. The gecko's prehensile feet enabled it to walk on vertical surfaces.
5. The artist depicted a mythical creature with prehensile tentacles in the painting.
6. The prehensile roots of the plant clung to the rocky terrain for stability.

History and etymology of prehensile

The adjective 'prehensile' traces its origins to the Latin word 'prehendere,' meaning 'to grasp' or 'to seize.' This etymology aptly encapsulates the essence of the term, which describes a body part or appendage's capacity to grip or hold objects. 'Prehensile' is often used in the context of biology to characterize specific features or organs, such as the tail of some primates or the tongue of certain animals, that have evolved to be capable of grasping and manipulating their environment. This term highlights the adaptability and functionality of these specialized appendages, allowing them to perform tasks like swinging from trees or capturing prey with remarkable dexterity.

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Further usage examples of prehensile

1. The prehensile beak of the parrot expertly cracked open nuts.
2. The creature's prehensile appendages allowed it to manipulate objects with precision.
3. The tribe used prehensile tools for tasks that required delicate handling.
4. The prehensile sensitivity of the surgeon's fingers was crucial during delicate surgeries.
5. The prehensile grasp of the robot's mechanical arm mimicked human dexterity.
6. The snake used its prehensile body to wrap around branches for support.
7. The prehensile skill of the potter's hands shaped the clay into intricate forms.
8. The prehensile whiskers of the cat helped it navigate in the dark.
9. The climber's prehensile grip allowed them to ascend steep cliffs.
10. The underwater creature had prehensile appendages for capturing prey.
11. The plant's prehensile tendrils wound around the support structure.
12. The prehensile tail of the seahorse helped it anchor to aquatic plants.
13. The animal's prehensile trunk reached high into the trees to gather food.
14. The engineer designed a prehensile robotic arm for delicate assembly tasks.

catching,clinging,clutching,grabbing,gripping,plucking,seizing,taking

eb68db_28dd82dcf6fe4969a641fcd74f95d687.mp3

grasping, rigid, inflexible, unyielding

Prefix pre-, GRE 13 (Graduate Record Examination), Analysis and Reasoning, Biology and Nature, Control and Discipline, Medical Conditions and Treatments, Shuffle and Shift, Anatomy and Biology

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