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prehensile

[pri-hen-sil, -sahyl] /prɪˈhɛn sɪl, -saɪl/
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
1781-1785
1781-85; < French préhensile (coined by Buffon), equivalent to Latin prehens(us) (see prehension) + French -ile -ile
Related forms
prehensility
[pree-hen-sil-i-tee] /ˌpri hɛnˈsɪl ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
noun
nonprehensile, adjective
subprehensile, adjective
subprehensility, noun
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for prehensility

prehensile

/prɪˈhɛnsaɪl/
adjective
1.
adapted for grasping, esp by wrapping around a support: a prehensile tail
Derived Forms
prehensility (ˌpriːhɛnˈsɪlɪtɪ) noun
Word Origin
C18: from French préhensile, from Latin prehendere to grasp
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 prehensility

prehensile

adj.

1771, from French préhensile "adapted for grasping" (Buffon), from Latin prehensus, past participle of prehendere "to grasp, to seize," from prae- "before" (see pre-) + -hendere, related to hedera "ivy," via notion of "clinging," and cognate with Greek khandanein "to take in, hold" (see get (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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prehensility in Medicine

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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prehensility in Science
prehensile
  (prē-hěn'səl)   
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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