prehensile

[pri-hen-sil, -sahyl]
adjective
1.
adapted for seizing, grasping, or taking hold of something: a prehensile tail.
2.
able to perceive quickly; having keen mental grasp.
3.
greedy; grasping; avaricious.

Origin:
1781–85; < French préhensile (coined by Buffon), equivalent to Latin prehens(us) (see prehension) + French -ile -ile

prehensility [pree-hen-sil-i-tee] , noun
nonprehensile, adjective
subprehensile, adjective
subprehensility, noun
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World English Dictionary
prehensile (prɪˈhɛnsaɪl)
 
adj
adapted for grasping, esp by wrapping around a support: a prehensile tail
 
[C18: from French préhensile, from Latin prehendere to grasp]
 
prehensility
 
n

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

prehensile
1781, from Fr. préhensile (Buffon), from L. prehensus, pp. of prehendere "to grasp, to seize," from præ- "before" + -hendere, related to hedera "ivy," via notion of "clinging," and cognate with Gk. khandanein "to take in, hold" (see get).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

prehensile pre·hen·sile (prē-hěn'səl, -sīl')
adj.
Adapted for seizing, grasping, or holding, especially by wrapping around an object.


pre'hen·sil'i·ty (-sĭl'ĭ-tē) n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
prehensile   (prē-hěn'səl)  Pronunciation Key 
Adapted for seizing, grasping, or holding, especially by wrapping around an object. The feet of many birds, the tails of monkeys, and the trunks of elephants are prehensile.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
The prehensile trunk of the tapir has changed little in millions of years of
  evolution.
The white hook on the left is a standard prehensile hook.
The all-conquering maker of bendy, magnet-tipped prehensile tripods is slowly
  turning into a flashlight company.
It seems to have lacked a trunk but may have had a prehensile upper lip.
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