Part of speech: noun
Origin: Greek, early 17th century
The nose of a mammal, especially when it is long and mobile such as the trunk of an elephant or the snout of a tapir.
(in many insects) an elongated sucking mouthpart that is typically tubular and flexible.
Examples of Proboscis in a sentence
"At the zoo I had the chance to watch an anteater use its proboscis to stir up the dirt and eat insects. "
"The garden was planted with flowers known to have pollen to attract bees and other insects with a proboscis."
Popularity Over Time
You’ll recognize the long snout called a proboscis on animals such as the elephant, tapir, and anteater, but they’re also in the insect world. On a lepidoptera, or butterfly, the proboscis is also called a haustellum, and it’s used to reach down deep into flowers for pollen and nectar.
Did you Know?
Many mammals have a nose or snout that could be called a proboscis, but one species of monkey earned special designation. The proboscis monkey is endemic to Borneo, and is one of the largest species of Asian monkeys. Females and babies have smaller, pointier proboscises, while the males have a more pronounced and bulbous feature.