"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[ten-dril] /ˈtɛn drɪl/
noun, Botany
a threadlike, leafless organ of climbing plants, often growing in spiral form, which attaches itself to or twines round some other body, so as to support the plant.
Origin of tendril
1530-40; earlier tendrel, variant (perhaps by dissimilation) of Middle English tendren, tendron < Middle French tendron shoot, sprout, cartilage
Related forms
tendrillar, tendrilous, adjective
tendrilly, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for tendrils
  • Its pink and white trumpet flower is attractive and its tendrils soft and flexible, but its methods are ruthless.
  • tendrils of smoke curled from the peat ground cover and floated into the chrome yellow sky.
  • In the past couple of years speech-recognition software has quietly grown tendrils into every corner of our lives.
  • Vines typically cling to walls by suction disks at ends of tendrils.
  • tendrils of vapor drifted in hollows and a tentative sun brought soft contrast to the organic contours of the slopes.
  • Maybe tendrils and fragments of them will attach to asteroids or plop down on ice planets light-years away.
  • Wire wrapped around the ladder gives the vine tendrils plenty of places to twine around.
  • Their higher moisture content allows mold to grow tendrils that can.
  • To that end, one design incorporates a giant, glowing jellyfish resting on its tendrils.
  • tendrils of ivy festoon the facade, as if the house were dressed for a party.
British Dictionary definitions for tendrils


a specialized threadlike part of a leaf or stem that attaches climbing plants to a support by twining or adhering
something resembling a tendril, such as a wisp of hair
Derived Forms
tendrillar, tendrilous, adjective
Word Origin
C16: perhaps from Old French tendron tendril (confused with Old French tendron bud), from Medieval Latin tendōtendon
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for tendrils



1530s, from Middle French tendrillon "bud, shoot, cartilage," perhaps a diminutive of tendron "cartilage," from Old French tendre "soft" (see tender (adj.)), or else from Latin tendere "to stretch, extend" (see tender (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
tendrils in Science
A slender, coiling plant part, often a modified leaf or leaf part, that helps support the stem of some climbing angiosperms by clinging to or winding around an object. Peas, squash, and grapes produce tendrils.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for tendril

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for tendrils

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with tendrils