proboscides; proboscises

Proboscis is the scientific term for certain mammals' noses, especially long and flexible ones such as an elephant's trunk or a tapir's snout. If someone calls your nose a proboscis, they mean you've got a pretty big 'un.

Proboscis comes from the Greek word for an elephant's trunk, proboskis, which translates as "means for taking food." Not to get too technical, but flies and other insects also have a proboscis, though if you ever end up on "Jeopardy!" it's worth knowing that they are not in fact true noses but actually part of their mouths. So there.

Definitions of proboscis
  1. noun
    a long flexible snout as of an elephant
    synonyms: trunk
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    type of:
    neb, snout
    a long projecting or anterior elongation of an animal's head; especially the nose
  2. noun
    the human nose (especially when it is large)
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    type of:
    nose, olfactory organ
    the organ of smell and entrance to the respiratory tract; the prominent part of the face of man or other mammals
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