pro·bos·cis (prō-bŏsĭs, -kĭs)
n. pl. pro·bos·cis·es or pro·bos·ci·des (-bŏsĭ-dēz′)
1. A long flexible snout or trunk, as of an elephant.
2. A slender, tubular organ in the head region of an invertebrate, such as certain insects and worms, usually used for sucking or piercing.
3. A human nose, especially a prominent one.
[Latin, from Greek proboskis : pro-, in front; see PRO-2 + boskein, to feed.]
(click for a larger image)proboscis
proboscis of a tiger swallowtail butterfly
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.