From Middle French tendrillon (“bud, shoot, cartilage”), perhaps a diminutive of tendron (“cartilage”), from Old French tendre (“soft”) (see tender (adj.)), or else from Latin tendere (“to stretch, extend”) (see tender (v.)).
tendril (plural tendrils)
- (botany) A thin, spirally coiling stem that attaches a plant to its support.
- (zoology) A hair-like tentacle.
tendril (not comparable)
- Having the shape or properties of a tendril; thin and coiling; entwining.
- 1907, Barbara Baynton, Sally Krimmer; Alan Lawson, editors, Human Toll (Portable Australian Authors: Barbara Baynton), St Lucia: University of Queensland Press, published 1980, page 275:
- Kissing the tendril fingers - at first because Mina, its mother, did not - but later with a rapture begot by its breath on her breast.