Pro*bos"cis (?), n.; pl. Proboscides (#). [L. fr. Gr. ; before + to feed, graze.]
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.
⇒ 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 maxillae, or by the labium. See Illusts. of Hemiptera and Lepidoptera.
By extension, applied to various tubelike mouth organs of the lower animals that can be everted or protruded.
⇒ 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.
Proboscis monkey. Zool. See Kahau.
© Webster 1913.