Any one of numerous species of voracious orthopterous insects of the genus Mantis, and allied genera. They are remarkable for their slender grotesque forms, and for holding their stout anterior legs in a manner suggesting hands folded in prayer. The common American species is M. Carolina.
- Any of various predatory insects of the family Mantidae, primarily tropical but including a few Temperate Zone species, usually pale green and having two pairs of walking legs and powerful grasping forelimbs. The mantis feeds on live insects, including others of its own kind. Also called mantid.