arach·​no·​pho·​bia ə-ˌrak-nə-ˈfō-bē-ə How to pronounce arachnophobia (audio)
: pathological fear or loathing of arachnids and especially spiders
Large spiders like the huntsman can be intimidating to the uninitiated and downright terrifying to people who suffer from arachnophobia.Sherry Boas
arachnophobe noun
arachnophobic adjective or noun

Did you know?

In Greek mythology, Arachne was a weaver of such skill that she dared to challenge the goddess Athena at her craft. When she won their competition by weaving a tapestry disrespectful to the gods, the enraged Athena tore it to shreds, and in despair Arachne hanged herself. Out of pity, Athena loosened the rope, which became a cobweb, and changed Arachne into a spider. Today, the spiders, scorpions, mites, and ticks all belong to the class known as arachnids. Arachnophobia is the most common of the animal phobias; but many people suffer from similar phobias regarding snakes (ophidiophobia), dogs (cynophobia), and mice and rats (musophobia).

Examples of arachnophobia in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Cornerstone is also handling worldwide sales and distribution for Roache-Turner’s upcoming arachnophobia horror Sting, which will be released by Studiocanal in the U.K., Australia, New Zeland, France, Germany, Switzerland and Benelux. Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter, 19 Oct. 2023 Spidey Senses Pumpkin Besides heights, small spaces, and needles, the fear of spiders, otherwise known as arachnophobia, is one of the most common frights. Annie O’Sullivan, Woman's Day, 18 Aug. 2023 Interestingly, the game’s accessibility features include an arachnophobia mode that will eliminate the game’s spider enemies. Ash Parrish, The Verge, 19 Apr. 2023 And the exposure to spiders is curing some viewers of their arachnophobia – and inspiring them to give the petite pets a chance. Scottie Andrew, CNN, 25 Mar. 2023 How rastafarians can help cure arachnophobia. Ncbi Rofl, Discover Magazine, 26 Sep. 2012 StudioCanal has taken multiple territories on Sting, the upcoming arachnophobia horror movie from writer/director Kiah Roache-Turner that has just wrapped production in Sydney. Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 Feb. 2023 Dad Sylvester Stallone couldn't hold back his excitement as his daughter, 25, confronted her arachnophobia in a video posted to Instagram Sunday, in which Sophia let a tarantula crawl on her arm. Breanna Bell,, 1 Aug. 2022 However, with its early access release on Xbox Game Pass and Steam, Obsidian announced an arachnophobia mode, letting spider-averse players experience the game safely. Elise Favis, Washington Post, 30 July 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'arachnophobia.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1863, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of arachnophobia was in 1863

Dictionary Entries Near arachnophobia

Cite this Entry

“Arachnophobia.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2024.

Medical Definition


arach·​no·​pho·​bia ə-ˌrak-nə-ˈfō-bē-ə How to pronounce arachnophobia (audio)
: pathological fear or loathing of arachnids and especially spiders

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