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

  • n. A long flexible snout or trunk, as of an elephant.
  • n. The slender, tubular feeding and sucking organ of certain invertebrates, such as insects, worms, and mollusks.
  • n. A human nose, especially a prominent one.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An elongated tube from the head or connected to the mouth, of an animal.
  • n. Informally, a large human nose.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A hollow organ or tube attached to the head, or connected with the mouth, of various animals, and generally used in taking food or drink; a snout; a trunk.
  • n. By extension, applied to various tubelike mouth organs of the lower animals that can be everted or protruded.
  • n. The nose.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An elephant's trunk; hence, a long flexible snout, as the tapir's, or the nose of the proboscis-monkey. See cut under Nasalis.
  • n. Any proboscidiform part or organ: anything that sticks out in front of an animal like an elephant's trunk. See cut under Cystophorinæ.

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

  • n. a long flexible snout as of an elephant
  • n. the human nose (especially when it is large)


Latin, from Greek proboskis : pro-, in front; see pro-2 + boskein, to feed.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin proboscis, from Greek προβοσκίς "elephant's trunk," literally "means for taking food," from προ "forward" + βόσκειν "to nourish, feed," from βόσκεσςθαι "graze, be fed," from the root *bot (cf. βοτάνη "grass, fodder); more at botany. (Wiktionary)


  • With a single or twin proboscis-like suction pipes, it pumps up materials from the sea floor and then discharges them into a storage compartment known as the hopper.

    Trailing Suction Hopper Dredgers

  • The contractile vacuole is terminal, the proboscis is short, slightly raised and separated from the body by a deep cleft; the buccal cilia are inserted part way up on the proboscis.

    Marine Protozoa from Woods Hole Bulletin of the United States Fish Commission 21:415-468, 1901

  • Not all parasites pass through a transformation inside the vector and remain in the salivary glands: filarial parasites are attached to the so-called proboscis (the mouth-part penetrating the skin) and are therefore transmitted mechanically.

    Chapter 6

  • For the mandibles were sharp, pointed ivory fangs; the proboscis was a kind of tongue in the vaguely mammalian mouths of these moths.

    An East Wind Coming

  • The right side is flattened and alone provided with cilia, while the left side of the body proper is arched; on the left side of the proboscis is a row of coarse cilia resembling an adoral zone, and a row of trichocysts.

    Marine Protozoa from Woods Hole Bulletin of the United States Fish Commission 21:415-468, 1901

  • We all know where the bees go to fetch their honey, and how, when a bee settles on a flower, she thrusts into it her small tongue-like proboscis, which is really

    The Fairy-Land of Science

  • Faix if it wasn't that her proboscis is a taste longer,


  • The adult also have antennae, and proboscis, which is used for the sucking of nectar.

    CreationWiki - Recent changes [en]

  • The proboscis is the part of the head that the bug uses to feed on its prey.

    CreationWiki - Recent changes [en]

  • Hawkmoths, which look a lot like hummingbirds or bumblebees, are common daytime fliers and will be found on tubular flowers (perfect for their incredibly long proboscis, which is the straw-like tube they feed with).

    Museum Blogs


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