ten·ta·cle / ˈten(t)əkəl/ • n. a slender flexible limb or appendage in an animal, esp. around the mouth of an invertebrate, used for grasping, moving about, or bearing sense organs. ∎ (in a plant) a tendril or a sensitive glandular hair. ∎ something resembling a tentacle in shape or flexibility: trailing tentacles of vapor. ∎ (usu. tentacles) fig. an insidious spread of influence and control: the Party's tentacles reached into every nook and cranny of people's lives.DERIVATIVES: ten·ta·cled adj. [also in comb.] ten·tac·u·lar / tenˈtakyələr/ adj.ten·tac·u·late / tenˈtakyələt/ adj.
1. In many invertebrate animals, a long, slender, flexible structure, often bearing sense receptors, used to obtain information about the immediate environment and often to obtain food.
2. In corals and sea anemones, a movable, tubular extension of the body cavity; tentacles are arranged in a ring around the mouth.
3. In Cephalopoda, a movable modification of the soft body; tentacles surround the mouth and are sometimes studded with sucker discs.