2. [syn: proboscis, trunk]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Proboscis \Pro*bos"cis\, n.; pl. Proboscides. [L. fr. Gr. ?; ?
before + ? to feed, graze.]
1. (Zool.) 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.
Note: The proboscis of an elephant is a flexible muscular
elongation of the nose. The proboscis of insects is
usually a chitinous tube formed by the modified
maxill[ae], or by the labium. See Illusts. of
Hemiptera and Lepidoptera.
2. (Zool.) By extension, applied to various tubelike mouth
organs of the lower animals that can be everted or
Note: The proboscis of annelids and of mollusks is usually a
portion of the pharynx that can be everted or
protruded. That of nemerteans is a special long
internal organ, not connected with the mouth, and not
used in feeding, but capable of being protruded from a
pore in the head. See Illust. in Appendix.
3. The nose. [Jocose]
Proboscis monkey. (Zool.) See Kahau.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: the human nose (especially when it is large)
2: a long flexible snout as of an elephant [syn: proboscis,
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
23 Moby Thesaurus words for "proboscis":
antlia, beak, beezer, bill, bugle, conk, muffle, muzzle, nares,
neb, nib, nose, nostrils, nozzle, olfactory organ, pecker,
rhinarium, rostrum, schnozzle, smeller, snoot, snout, trunk
The Devil's Dictionary (1881-1906):
PROBOSCIS, n. The rudimentary organ of an elephant which serves him
in place of the knife-and-fork that Evolution has as yet denied him.
For purposes of humor it is popularly called a trunk.
Asked how he knew that an elephant was going on a journey, the
illustrious Jo. Miller cast a reproachful look upon his tormentor, and
answered, absently: "When it is ajar," and threw himself from a high
promontory into the sea. Thus perished in his pride the most famous
humorist of antiquity, leaving to mankind a heritage of woe! No
successor worthy of the title has appeared, though Mr. Edward Bok, of
_The Ladies' Home Journal_, is much respected for the purity and
sweetness of his personal character.