Etymology
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mantis (n.)

1650s, "type of insect that holds its forelegs in a praying position" (especially the praying mantis, Mantis religiosa), Modern Latin, from Greek mantis, used of some sort of elongated insect with long forelimbs (Theocritus), literally "one who divines, a seer, prophet," from mainesthai "be inspired," related to menos "passion, spirit," from PIE *mnyo-, suffixed form of root *men- (1) "to think," with derivatives referring to qualities and states of mind or thought (compare mania and -mancy).

The insects, which live in temperate and tropical regions worldwide, are so called for its way of holding the enlarged forelimbs as if in prayer. The mantis shrimp (by 1853; earlier sea-mantis, 1690s) is so called for its resemblance to the insect.

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pray (v.)

early 13c., preien, "ask earnestly, beg (someone)," also (c. 1300) in a religious sense, "pray to a god or saint," from Old French preier "to pray" (c. 900, Modern French prier), from Vulgar Latin *precare (also source of Italian pregare), from Latin precari "ask earnestly, beg, entreat," from *prex (plural preces, genitive precis) "prayer, request, entreaty," from PIE root *prek- "to ask, request, entreat."

From early 14c. as "to invite." The deferential parenthetical expression I pray you, "please, if you will," attested from late 14c. (from c. 1300 as I pray thee), was contracted to pray in 16c. Related: Prayed; praying.

Praying mantis attested from 1809 (praying locust is from 1752; praying insect by 1816; see mantis). The Gardener's Monthly of July 1861 lists other names for it as camel cricket, soothsayer, and rear horse.

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*men- (1)

Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to think," with derivatives referring to qualities and states of mind or thought.

It forms all or part of: admonish; Ahura Mazda; ament; amentia; amnesia; amnesty; anamnesis; anamnestic; automatic; automaton; balletomane; comment; compos mentis; dement; demonstrate; Eumenides; idiomatic; maenad; -mancy; mandarin; mania; maniac; manic; mantic; mantis; mantra; memento; mens rea; mental; mention; mentor; mind; Minerva; minnesinger; mnemonic; Mnemosyne; money; monition; monitor; monster; monument; mosaic; Muse; museum; music; muster; premonition; reminiscence; reminiscent; summon.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit manas- "mind, spirit," matih "thought," munih "sage, seer;" Avestan manah- "mind, spirit;" Greek memona "I yearn," mania "madness," mantis "one who divines, prophet, seer;" Latin mens "mind, understanding, reason," memini "I remember," mentio "remembrance;" Lithuanian mintis "thought, idea," Old Church Slavonic mineti "to believe, think," Russian pamjat "memory;" Gothic gamunds, Old English gemynd "memory, remembrance; conscious mind, intellect."

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-mancy 

word-forming element of Greek origin meaning "divination by means of," from Old French -mancie, from Late Latin -mantia, from Greek manteia "oracle, divination," from mantis "one who divines, a seer, prophet; one touched by divine madness," from mainesthai "be inspired," which is related to menos "passion, spirit" (from PIE *mnyo-, suffixed form of root *men- (1) "to think," with derivatives referring to qualities and states of mind or thought). Compare mania.

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mantic (adj.)

"relating to or pertaining to prophecy or divination," 1836, from Greek mantikos "prophetic, oracular, of or for a soothsayer," from mantis "one who divines, a seer, prophet; one touched by divine madness," from mainesthai "be inspired," which is related to menos "passion, spirit," from PIE *mnyo-, suffixed form of root *men- (1) "to think," with derivatives referring to qualities and states of mind or thought. Related: Mantical (1580s).

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necromancy (n.)

c. 1300, nygromauncy, nigromauncie, "sorcery, witchcraft, black magic," properly "divination by communication with the dead," from Old French nigromancie "magic, necromancy, witchcraft, sorcery," from Medieval Latin nigromantia (13c.), from Latin necromantia "divination from an exhumed corpse," from Greek nekromanteia, from nekros "dead body" (from PIE root *nek- (1) "death") + manteia "divination, oracle," from manteuesthai "to prophesy," from mantis "one who divines, a seer, prophet; one touched by divine madness," from mainesthai "be inspired," which is related to menos "passion, spirit" (see mania). The spelling was influenced in Medieval Latin by niger "black," on notion of "black arts;" the modern English spelling is a mid-16c. correction. Related: Necromantic.

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mantissa (n.)

"decimal part of a logarithm," 1865, from Latin mantisa "a worthless addition, makeweight," perhaps a Gaulish word introduced into Latin via Etruscan (compare Old Irish meit, Welsh maint "size"). So called as being "additional" to the characteristic or integral part. The Latin word was used in 17c. English in the sense of "an addition of small importance to a literary work, etc."

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mania (n.)

late 14c., "mental derangement characterized by excitement and delusion," from Late Latin mania "insanity, madness," from Greek mania "madness, frenzy; enthusiasm, inspired frenzy; mad passion, fury," related to mainesthai "to rage, go mad," mantis "seer," menos "passion, spirit," all of uncertain origin, perhaps from PIE *mnyo-, suffixed form of root *men- (1) "to think," with derivatives referring to qualities and states of mind or thought.

Mania is manifested by psychic elevation, increased motor activity, rapid speech and the quick flight of ideas. [Scientific American, September 1973]

Sense of "fad, craze, enthusiasm resembling mania, eager or uncontrollable desire" is by 1680s, from French manie in this sense. Sometimes nativized in Middle English as manye. Used since 1500s as the second element in compounds expressing particular types of madness (such as nymphomania, 1775; kleptomania, 1830; megalomania, 1890), originally in Medical Latin, in imitation of Greek, which had a few such compounds, mostly post-classical: gynaikomania (women), hippomania (horses), etc.

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