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: a kind of animal that has eight legs and a body formed of two parts
Full Definition of ARACHNID
: any of a class (Arachnida) of arthropods comprising chiefly terrestrial invertebrates, including the spiders, scorpions, mites, and ticks, and having a segmented body divided into two regions of which the anterior bears four pairs of legs but no antennae
Any member of the class Arachnida, primarily carnivorous arthropods having a well-developed head, a hard external skeleton, and four pairs of walking legs. Spiders and scorpions have a segmented body, but daddy longlegs, ticks, and mites do not. Arachnids range in size from tiny mites (0.003 in. [0.08 mm] long) to the 8-in. (21-cm) black scorpion of Africa. As arachnids grow, they molt several times (seemolting). Most are unable to digest food internally; instead, they inject their prey with digestive fluids and suck the liquefied remains. Arachnids are found worldwide in nearly every habitat. Most groups are free-living, but some mites and ticks are parasitic and can carry serious diseases of animals and humans. Venomous spiders and scorpions also may pose a danger to humans. However, most arachnids are harmless and prey on insect pests.