• WordNet 3.6
    • n tendril slender stem-like structure by which some twining plants attach themselves to an object for support
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Tendril (Bot) A slender, leafless portion of a plant by which it becomes attached to a supporting body, after which the tendril usually contracts by coiling spirally.☞ Tendrils may represent the end of a stem, as in the grapevine; an axillary branch, as in the passion flower; stipules, as in the genus Smilax; or the end of a leaf, as in the pea.
    • a Tendril Clasping; climbing as a tendril.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n tendril In botany, a filiform leafless plant-organ that attaches itself to another body for the purpose of support. Morphologically, a tendril may be a modified stem, as in the vine and Virginia creeper; a modified branch, as in the passion-flower; a petiole, as in Lathyrus Aphaca; a stipule, or, as in Smilax, a pair of stipules; or a leaflet of a compound leaf, as in the pea and vetch. The morphology of the tendrils in the Cucurbitaceæ is still open to question; by Braun and Wydler they are regarded as simple leaves of which the ribs are the branches of the tendril (a view adopted also by Eichler), but Naudin regards the main tendril as cauline and the branches as leaves. Tendrils are usually found on those plants which are too weak in the stem to enable them to grow erect; they twist themselves, usually in a spiral form, around other plants or neighboring bodies, and the plants on which they grow are thus enabled to elevate themselves. See cuts under cirrus, creeper, Lathyrus, passion-flower, and Smilax.
    • tendril Climbing as a tendril, or as by a tendril.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Tendril ten′dril a slender, spiral shoot of a plant by which it attaches itself for support
    • adj Tendril clasping or climbing
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Shortened fr. OF. tendrillon, fr. F. tendre, tender; hence, properly, the tender branch or spring of a plant: cf. F. tendrille,. See Tender (a.), and cf. Tendron


In literature:

All other species have two leaves with a tendril opposite each and a third leaf without a tendril, intermittent tendrils.
"Manual of American Grape-Growing" by U. P. Hedrick
Was it a tendril of the vine that touched his cheek gently?
"The Strollers" by Frederic S. Isham
Francis Lingen, born to cling, threw out tentative tendrils to Margery Dacre.
"Love and Lucy" by Maurice Henry Hewlett
The tall figures crouched, grotesque and awkward; their long arms and hands with grasping, tendril-like fingers were ready.
"Astounding Stories of Super-Science, November, 1930" by Various
He could not shake clear of their tendrils.
"The Law-Breakers" by Ridgwell Cullum
Her hair was in his mouth, tendrils of it stung his eyes, but the gold band numbed his flesh and bruised the bone.
"The Pirate Woman" by Aylward Edward Dingle
I lean to you, I cling to you like a vine with every winding tendril.
"Aurora the Magnificent" by Gertrude Hall
As if it were a magnet it drew the green tendrils of gas, to leave the air clear.
"The People of the Crater" by Andrew North
There was a revolver in McFann's hand, and faint tendrils of smoke came from the weapon.
"Mystery Ranch" by Arthur Chapman
I noticed the little tendrils of hair upon her milk-white neck.
"Francezka" by Molly Elliot Seawell

In poetry:

IF childhood were not in the world,
But only men and women grown;
No baby-locks in tendrils curled,
No baby-blossoms blown;
"The Salt of the Earth" by Algernon Charles Swinburne
So when expectation rising,
Cheers us with her ray benign;
How with ev'ry branch of sorrow,
Hope's celestial tendrils twine.
"Expectation" by Elizabeth Bath
Or to some plant with tendrils fine,
With blossoms sweet and gay,
This office I would now assign;
But flowers will all decay!
"Vignette - V" by Matilda Betham
Wand'ring winds, fire-throated, stole,
Sybils whisp'ring from their books;
With the rush of wine from bowl,
Leap'd the tendril-darken'd brooks.
"The Helot" by Isabella Valancy Crawford
The pale wild rose is blushing near;
And clinging tendrils round it twine,
That throw their gay and graceful wreaths
In many a varied waving line.
"Memory" by Louisa Stuart Costello
Beside my window day and night,
Its tendrils reaching left and right,
A morning glory grew;
With blossoms covered, pink and white
And deep, delicious blue.
"Revenge" by Hattie Howard

In news:

Hurricane Sandy, with tendrils stretching from the mid-Atlantic to the Midwest, is seen Oct 29 in a satellite image from NASA.
Bongenre brings us Elegant Melamine Tableware, in this selection delicate tendrils of coral slip across the rim, attached to the rim by a band of undulating color.
Depressive, tortured and famous for flinging thousands of tendrils of paint onto a surface, the polarizing Abstract Expressionist who challenged both public taste and the sheer idea of representation.
Infrared view reveals tendrils of gas that would be hard to see in visible light.
Scapes are the tendrils that sprout from garlic bulbs.
There are hanging tendrils below and arcing branches above their location, which can be preceded by a reddish halo.
Dan Telfer is a delightful Chicago-based comedian whose first full-length album, Tendrils of Ruin, was just recently released.
GE, Tendril Team for Smart Grid Appliances.
GE and Tendril to create money-saving, networked appliances.
Unwinding The Cucumber Tendril Mystery.
Boulder-based Tendril Inc, a developer of energy management and Smart Grid-related technologies, was awarded up to $85,000 in rebates on sales and use taxes and permit-related fees by the city of Boulder, officials announced Thursday.
GE and Tendril Deepen Ties on Home Smart Grid Oct 16, 2009 Printable format Email this Article Search.
GE and Tendril Sign Strategic Agreement for Smart Energy Management Jul 9, 2009 Printable format Email this Article Search.
Tendril and GE Consumer & Industrial signed a joint development agreement to further enhance the communication capabilities of GE's demand response appliances.
Tendril , Atmel ease deployment of wireless sensor and control networks.

In science:

The existence of chaotic solutions imples that the initial volume will fragment, forming whorls and tendrils that interpenetrate all the available phase space without changing its volume, forming an interwoven fractal structure.
From Knowledge, Knowability and the Search for Objective Randomness to a New Vision of Complexity
Figure 3: In general the energy of a network is infinite if the lower-dimensional D-brane tendrils are semi-infinite.
D-brane networks in flux vacua, generalized cycles and calibrations
This infinity must be regularized, for example imposing an IR cutoff in the background, which may be automatic if the tendrils end on a horizon or the end of the world.
D-brane networks in flux vacua, generalized cycles and calibrations
Salmonella and E. coli, aerial hyphae in actynomycetes, bacterial shape in spirochetes, horns, tendrils, vines, screws, springs, helical staircases and sea shells (helico-spiral structures) [8, 9].
Position vectors of a spacelike general helices in Minkowski Space $\e_1^3$
This is demonstrated in Fig.(2b), where the unstable manifold at level 8 intersects the local segment of the stable manifold at three points (indicated by squares) giving rise to a secondary tendril.
Construction of a natural partition of incomplete horseshoes