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, pl.




(prō-bos'is, prō-bos'i-dēz, -sĕz),
1. A long flexible snout, such as that of a tapir or an elephant.
2. In teratology, a cylindric protuberance of the face that, in cyclopia or ethmocephaly, represents the nose.
[G. proboskis, a means of providing food, fr. pro- + boskein, to feed]


(prō-bŏs′ĭs, -kĭs)
n. pl. pro·boscises or pro·boscides (-bŏs′ĭ-dēz′)
1. A long flexible snout or trunk, as of an elephant.
2. A slender, tubular organ in the head region of an invertebrate, such as certain insects and worms, usually used for sucking or piercing.
3. A human nose, especially a prominent one.


  1. the elongated snout of a tapir or elephant.
  2. the elongated mouthparts of some insects.


elongated, flexible feeding apparatus, formed of the fused mouthparts, in some insects.
References in periodicals archive ?
The prairie fringed orchid's flowers are fragrant only at night, and pollinia are picked up by the proboscises of hawkmoths as they ingest nectar.
Marder licks her dogs' noses to keep their proboscises shiny and healthy-looking.
Inventing a system for a kind of three-dimensional chart showing several decades of the federal government's human-resource and defense spending, and of the consumer price index for food and for fuel, with population size and housing costs respectively factored in, Madsen winds up with two ungainly basswood forms, like peculiarly tapering insect proboscises.