• WordNet 3.6
    • adj prehensile immoderately desirous of acquiring e.g. wealth "they are avaricious and will do anything for money","casting covetous eyes on his neighbor's fields","a grasping old miser","grasping commercialism","greedy for money and power","grew richer and greedier","prehensile employers stingy with raises for their employees"
    • adj prehensile adapted for grasping especially by wrapping around an object "a monkey's prehensile tail"
    • adj prehensile having a keen intellect "poets--those gifted strangely prehensile men"- A.T.Quiller-Couch"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Giraffes have the same number of vertebrae in their necks as humans. Their lips are prehensile, their tongues are 21 inches long, and they cannot cough.
    • a Prehensile Adapted to seize or grasp; seizing; grasping; as, the prehensile tail of a monkey.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • prehensile Seizing or grasping; taking and holding; adapted for prehension; especially, fitted for grasping or holding by folding, wrapping, or curving around the object prehended: as, the prehensile tail of a monkey or an opossum. Also prehensory. See cut above, and cuts at Cebinæ, marmose, musk-cavy, opossum, and spider-monkey.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Prehensile prē-hen′sil seizing: adapted for seizing or holding—also Prehen′sory
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. prehensus, p. p. of prehendere, to lay hold of, seize; pre-,equiv. to prae, before) + hendere,in comp.), akin to E. get,: cf. F. préhensile,. See Get, and cf. Prison Prize (n.)
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. pre-hendĕre, -hensum, to seize.


In literature:

They live among reeds and long fuci, to which they cling with prehensile tails.
"The Sailor's Word-Book" by William Henry Smyth
It lives on fruit, roots, and insects, and, aided by its prehensile tail, climbs trees with great skill.
"Adventures of a Young Naturalist" by Lucien Biart
"Donahoe's Magazine, Volume 15, No. 2, February 1886" by Various
What is wanted is the comprehensive hand, and not the prehensile tail.
"The History of Dartmouth College" by Baxter Perry Smith
The Colombian ape's toes are prehensile.
"The Mind Master" by Arthur J. Burks
Tentacle-like protrusions of various size and length seemed to serve as the sensory and prehensile organs.
"High Dragon Bump" by Don Thompson
The monster toppled, and flung out its prehensile lizard claws in an instinctive effort to catch itself.
"The Fifth-Dimension Tube" by William Fitzgerald Jenkins
The male possesses the prehensile organs and the superior strength.
"The Kempton-Wace Letters" by Jack London
The prehensile antennae of the larva will presently be described under the male.
"A Monograph on the Sub-class Cirripedia (Volume 1 of 2)" by Charles Darwin
The hand itself was a foot and a half broad, with a prehensile thumb at either side.
"The Enormous Room" by Horace Leonard Gold

In poetry:

The grape is swart, the avenues dusky and tendrilled, subtly
But we, as we start awake, clutch at our vistas democratic,
boulevards, tram-cars, policemen.
Give us our own back
Let us go to the soda-fountain, to get sober.
"Grapes" by D H Lawrence

In news:

It can also use its long, prehensile tail to keep its balance.
The brown- spider monkey , Ateles hybridus, is known for its long, slender limbs, prehensile tail, and tree-dwelling lifestyle.
The brown-spider monkey, Ateles hybridus, is known for its long, slender limbs, prehensile tail, and tree-dwelling lifestyle.
Creatures about the size of a grain of salt could apparently ride winged insects by using prehensile antennas, researchers say.
Possums have 50 teeth, more than any other land mammal in the US They also have prehensile tails.