n. pl. man·tis·es or man·tes (-tēz)
Any of various predatory, chiefly tropical insects of the order or suborder Mantodea, having powerful grasping forelimbs and the ability to turn the head from side to side. Also called mantid.
[Greek, seer, praying mantis (from the insect's habit of holding its front legs in a pose resembling that of a seer in prayer, and perhaps also from the fact that its presence or emergence was thought to have divinatory value); see men-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
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