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

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 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To prehensile
World English Dictionary
prehensile (prɪˈhɛnsaɪl)
adapted for grasping, esp by wrapping around a support: a prehensile tail
[C18: from French préhensile, from Latin prehendere to grasp]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

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
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

prehensile pre·hen·sile (prē-hěn'səl, -sīl')
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.
Cite This Source
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.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
The prehensile trunk of the tapir has changed little in millions of years of
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.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature