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8 Wintry Words to Defrost Your Vocabulary

devil ray

noun
1.

manta

[man-tuh; Spanish mahn-tah] /ˈmæn tə; Spanish ˈmɑn tɑ/
noun, plural mantas
[man-tuh z; Spanish mahn-tahs] /ˈmæn təz; Spanish ˈmɑn tɑs/ (Show IPA)
1.
(in Spain and Spanish America) a cloak or wrap.
2.
the type of blanket or cloth used on a horse or mule.
3.
Military. a movable shelter formerly used to protect besiegers, as when attacking a fortress.
4.
Ichthyology. Also called manta ray, devil ray, devilfish. any of several tropical rays of the small family Mobulidae, especially of the genus Manta, measuring from 2 to 24 feet (0.6 to 7.3 meters) across, including the pectoral fins.
Origin
1690-1700
1690-1700; < Spanish < Provençal: blanket. See mantle
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for devil-ray

manta

/ˈmæntə; Spanish ˈmanta/
noun
1.
Also called manta ray, devilfish, devil ray. any large ray (fish) of the family Mobulidae, having very wide winglike pectoral fins and feeding on plankton
2.
a rough cotton cloth made in Spain and Spanish America
3.
a piece of this used as a blanket or shawl
4.
another word for mantelet (sense 2)
Word Origin
Spanish: cloak, from Vulgar Latin; see mantle. The manta ray is so called because it is caught in a trap resembling a blanket
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for devil-ray

manta

n.

very large ray (also called devilfish), 1760, from Spanish manta "blanket" (which is attested in English from 1748 in this sense, specifically in reference to a type of wrap or cloak worn by Spaniards), from Late Latin mantum "cloak," back-formation from Latin mantellum "cloak" (see mantle (n.)). The ray so called "for being broad and long like a quilt" [Jorge Juan and Antonio de Ulloa, "A Voyage to South America"].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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