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[pri-hen-sil, -sahyl] /prɪˈhɛn sɪl, -saɪl/

adapted for seizing, grasping, or taking hold of something:
a prehensile tail.
able to perceive quickly; having keen mental grasp.
greedy; grasping; avaricious.
adapted for grasping, esp by wrapping around a support: a prehensile tail

1771, from French préhensile “adapted for grasping” (Buffon), from Latin prehensus, past participle of prehendere “to grasp, to seize,” from prae- “before” (see pre-) + -hendere, related to hedera “ivy,” via notion of “clinging,” and cognate with Greek khandanein “to take in, hold” (see get (v.)).

prehensile pre·hen·sile (prē-hěn’səl, -sīl’)
Adapted for seizing, grasping, or holding, especially by wrapping around an object.
pre’hen·sil’i·ty (-sĭl’ĭ-tē) n.
Adapted for seizing, grasping, or holding, especially by wrapping around an object. The feet of many birds, the tails of monkeys, and the trunks of elephants are prehensile.


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