2. A slender projection of invertebrates that are equipped with receptors ; such as, those surrounding the mouths or oral cavities of squids: Like octopi, squids also use their tentacles to help them get around, feed on, and to hold onto natural structures.
3. One of the sensitive glandular hairs or filaments on the leaves of insectivorous (insect-eating) plants, such as the sundew whose secretions trap and digest prey: Irwin noticed that if anything touches the tentacles on the leaves of the sundew plant, the leaves automatically close up, as if trying to capture whatever might be coming into contact with them.
4. A part or extension of an organization that has the ability to grasp, to influence, or to control certain aspects of societies: There was an espionage network run by the government that had far-reaching tentacles.
Henry's cousin was caught in the tentacles of organized crime.
The neighborhood has been caught in the tentacles of narcotics.
Cells in the cnidarian tentacles and in the outer body surfaces are armed with stinging, harpoon-like structures called "nematocysts" which contain toxins that can cause their victims to have paralysis.2. Etymology: from Greek cnidaria, "nettle" and refers to the stinging structures that are characteristic of these animals.