AskDefine | Define proboscis

Dictionary Definition



1 the human nose (especially when it is large)
2 a long flexible snout as of an elephant [syn: trunk] [also: proboscides (pl)]

User Contributed Dictionary



proboscis (plural proboscises or proboscides)
  1. An elongated tube from the head or connected to the mouth, of an animal.
    1. The tubular feeding and sucking organ of certain invertebrates like insects, worms and molluscs.
    2. The trunk of an elephant.
  2. Informally, a large human nose.


elongated tube

Derived terms

Extensive Definition

This article is about the mouth part. For the butterfly genus, see Proboscis (genus)
In general, a proboscis (from Greek pro "before" and boskein "to feed") is an elongated appendage from the head of an animal. The most common usage is to refer to the tubular feeding and sucking organ of certain invertebrates like insects, worms (including proboscis worms) and molluscs. The elephant's trunk is also called a proboscis. An abnormal facial appendage that sometimes accompanies ocular and nasal abnormalities is also called a proboscis. The term is used for primate organs as well: an elongated human nose is sometimes facetiously called a proboscis and the Proboscis Monkey is named for its enormous nose.
The correct Greek plural is proboscides, but in English it is more common to simply add -es, forming proboscises.
Notable mammals with some form of proboscis are:

See also

proboscis in Catalan: Probòscide
proboscis in Czech: Sosák
proboscis in German: Rüssel
proboscis in Spanish: Probóscide
proboscis in French: Éléphant#Trompe
proboscis in Italian: Proboscide
proboscis in Norwegian: Snabel
proboscis in Portuguese: Probóscide
proboscis in Russian: Хобот
proboscis in Finnish: Imukärsä
proboscis in Swedish: Snabel
proboscis in Ukrainian: Хобот

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1