Brazilian wandering spider

noun

Definition of Brazilian wandering spider

:any of a genus (Phoneutria) of large, venomous, nocturnal spiders of tropical South America that do not build webs and actively hunt prey by traveling on the ground
Note: Brazilian wandering spiders adopt a characteristic aggressive defense posture in which their front legs are raised straight up into the air.
  • Along the way we meet some scary hairies, among them a Brazilian wandering spider, the most dangerous spider in the world, we're told, with venom 18 times as potent as a black widow's
  • —Chip CrewsWashington Post11 Feb. 2006
called also banana spider

There's more!

Love words? You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!
Already a subscriber? Log in.

First Known Use of brazilian wandering spider

1995


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to buzz or drone

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!