Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

tarantula

play
noun ta·ran·tu·la \tə-ˈran-chə-lə, -tə-lə; -ˈranch-lə, -ˈrant-\

Simple Definition of tarantula

  • : a large, hairy spider that lives in warm regions

Full Definition of tarantula

plural ta·ran·tu·las also ta·ran·tu·lae play \-ˌlē\

  1. 1 :  a European wolf spider (Lycosa tarentula) popularly held to be the cause of tarantism

  2. 2 :  any of a family (Theraphosidae) of large hairy American spiders that are typically rather sluggish and capable of biting sharply though most forms are not significantly poisonous to humans

Origin of tarantula

Medieval Latin, from Old Italian tarantola, from Taranto


First Known Use: 1561


TARANTULA Defined for Kids

tarantula

play
noun ta·ran·tu·la \tə-ˈran-chə-lə\

Definition of tarantula

  1. :  a large hairy spider of warm regions of North and South America whose bite may be painful but is usually not serious to humans except for a few South American species




Medical Dictionary

tarantula

play play
noun ta·ran·tu·la \tə-ˈranch-(ə-)lə, -ˈrant-əl-ə\

Medical Definition of tarantula

plural ta·ran·tu·las also ta·ran·tu·lae \-ˈran-chə-ˌlē, -ˈrant-əl-ˌē\play play

  1. 1:  a European spider (Lycosa tarentula of the family Lycosidae) popularly held to be the cause of tarantism

  2. 2:  any of a family (Theraphosidae) of large hairy American spiders that are typically rather sluggish and capable of biting sharply though most forms are not significantly poisonous to humans



Illustration of tarantula


Learn More about tarantula


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up tarantula? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 14, 2016

to hug and kiss another person

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image33683556

How much does a batman (the Turkish unit of measurement) weigh?

196.5 pounds 2.2 pounds 100 pounds 16.96 pounds
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ