Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A rough-textured cotton fabric or blanket made and used in Spanish America and the southwest United States.
  • noun A very large ray (Manta birostris) inhabiting tropical and subtropical seas, having a whiplike tail and two hornlike fins that project forward from the head, and feeding on plankton.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A wrap of black cloth, cashmere, or silk extensively worn by women on the west coast of South America, especially in the forenoons and to church and funerals. It is worn less now than formerly, when it was in general use on the streets.
  • noun A coarse unbleached cotton fabric which forms the staple clothing of the common people of Mexico.
  • noun In mining, a blanket or sack of ore; a placer in situ.
  • noun The Spanish-American name of an enormous devil-fish or sea-devil, an eagleray of the family Ceratopteridæ
  • noun [capitalized] [NL.] A genus of such rays. Manta birostris is a species of the warmer American waters. It is a synonym of Ceratoptera.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Zoöl.) The manta ray. See also cephaloptera and sea devil.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun manta ray.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a blanket that is used as a cloak or shawl
  • noun extremely large pelagic tropical ray that feeds on plankton and small fishes; usually harmless but its size make it dangerous if harpooned

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Spanish, blanket, manta (from its blanketlike shape), alteration of manto, cloak, perhaps from Latin mantellum, mantēlum.]

Examples

  • When they feast a friend they kill an ox, and set immediately a quarter of him raw upon the table (for their most elegant treat is raw beef newly killed) with pepper and salt; the gall of the ox serves them for oil and vinegar; some, to heighten the delicacy of the entertainment, add a kind of sauce, which they call manta, made of what they take out of the guts of the ox; this they set on the fire, with butter, salt, pepper, and onion.

    A Voyage to Abyssinia

  • There are no frickin 'manta rays with frickin' lasers on their heads in the film.

    Story reading log

  • The only one that is being spewed like a manta is the same one that has not worked i.e. trickle down economics.

    Election Central Sunday Roundup

  • Dragging a fine-meshed net known as a manta trawl, he discovered minuscule pieces of plastic, some barely visible to the eye, swirling like fish food throughout the water.

    PACIFIC OCEAN PLASTIC STEW ( BPA ) STILL ENDANGERING HUMANS

  • What she saw displayed now on the Vendikar's screens reminded her mostly of a Terran fish called a manta ray.

    Objective: Bajor

  • It was called a manta, and was contrived somewhat on the principle of the mantelets used in the wars of the Middle Ages.

    History of the Conquest of Mexico, with a Preliminary View of Ancient Mexican Civilization, and the Life of the Conqueror, Hernando Cortes

  • After their greeting she was the first to allude to the dress, regretting that it was not more of a rough disguise, and that, as she must now discard the national habit of wearing her shawl "manta" fashion over her head, she wanted a hat.

    In the Carquinez Woods

  • "It was only after these fish vanished from the ecosystem that mammals and cartilaginous fish such as manta rays, basking sharks, whale sharks began to adapt to that ecological role."

    PhysOrg.com - latest science and technology news stories

  • "It was only after these fish vanished from the ecosystem that mammals and cartilaginous fish such as manta rays, basking sharks, whale sharks began to adapt to that ecological role."

    PhysOrg.com - latest science and technology news stories

  • Martin said modern, giant planktivores, such as manta rays and blue whales, are very common in today's oceans.

    Kansan.com stories

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