[proh-bos-is, -kis]
noun, plural proboscises, proboscides [proh-bos-i-deez] .
the trunk of an elephant.
any long flexible snout, as of the tapir.
Also called beak. the elongate, protruding mouth parts of certain insects, adapted for sucking or piercing.
any of various elongate feeding, defensive, or sensory organs of the oral region, as in certain leeches and worms.
Facetious. the human nose, especially when unusually long or prominent.

1570–80; < Latin < Greek proboskís elephant's trunk, literally, feeder, equivalent to pro- pro-2 + bósk(ein) to feed + -is (stem -id-) noun suffix Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
proboscis (prəʊˈbɒsɪs)
n , pl -cises, -cides
1.  a long flexible prehensile trunk or snout, as of an elephant
2.  the elongated mouthparts of certain insects, adapted for piercing or sucking food
3.  any similar part or organ
4.  informal, facetious a person's nose, esp if large
[C17: via Latin from Greek proboskis trunk of an elephant, from boskein to feed]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1609, "elephant's trunk," from L. proboscis (Pliny), from Gk. proboskis "elephant's trunk," lit. "means for taking food," from pro "forward" + boskein "to nourish, feed," from boskesthai "graze, be fed," from stem *bot- (cf. botane "grass, fodder;" see botany).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
proboscis   (prō-bŏs'ĭs)  Pronunciation Key 
Plural proboscises or proboscides (prō-bŏs'ĭ-dēz')
  1. A long, flexible snout or trunk, as of an elephant.

  2. The slender, tubular feeding and sucking organ of certain invertebrates, such as butterflies and mosquitoes.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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