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Noun, pl. proboscises

1. An elongated appendage from the head of an animal, either a vertebrate or an invertebrate. In invertebrates, the term usually refers to tubular mouthparts used for feeding and sucking. In vertebrates, the term is used to describe an elongated nose or snout. (

2. The nose of a mammal, esp. when it is long and mobile, such as the trunk of an elephant (Google Dictionary); the human nose especially when prominent (

4. Any of various elongated or extensible tubular processes (as the sucking organ of a butterfly) of the oral region of an invertebrate. (

Word origin: From Latin proboscis (Pliny), from Greek proboskis “elephant’s trunk,” literally “means for taking food,” from pro “forward” + boskein “to nourish, feed,” from boskesthai “graze, be fed.”

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