black widow

noun

Definition of black widow

: a venomous New World spider (Latrodectus mactans of the family Theridiidae) the female of which is black with an hourglass-shaped red mark on the underside of the abdomen broadly : any of various related venomous spiders that have a large globular, usually glossy, dark abdomen often marked with red and long and wiry legs

Illustration of black widow

Illustration of black widow

Examples of black widow in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Of the thousands of spider species in Florida, two are considered potentially dangerous: the black widow and brown recluse. Ron Seifer, sun-sentinel.com, 2 Sep. 2021 With a black widow bite, the pain often starts off mild with some swelling and red marks. Sarah Jacob, SELF, 5 Aug. 2021 Antivenom to black widow bites was first manufactured in the 1930s. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, 7 July 2021 Signs of a black widow bite include pain followed by redness and swelling; two tiny fang marks; and muscles spasms, chills, and nausea that start within an hour following a bite. Arricca Elin Sansone, Country Living, 27 May 2021 And as his empire crumbles, my precious black widow shall rise as his most fitting successor! Ed Masley, The Arizona Republic, 16 Mar. 2021 The black widow is the most harmful spider to humans in the state. oregonlive, 14 Nov. 2020 Only her face is cracked open like an egg to reveal a black widow spider weaving a web inside her hollow skull. Nick Romano, EW.com, 12 Nov. 2020 The High School Musical actress channeled a black widow spider, a cabaret dancer, and Catwoman for her costumes this year. Harper's BAZAAR, 1 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'black widow.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of black widow

1830, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About black widow

Time Traveler for black widow

Time Traveler

The first known use of black widow was in 1830

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near black widow

black-whiskered vireo

black widow

black wildebeest

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for black widow

Last Updated

10 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Black widow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/black%20widow. Accessed 23 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon
Seen & Heard
People are talking about

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for black widow

black widow

noun

English Language Learners Definition of black widow

: a poisonous American spider

black widow

noun

Kids Definition of black widow

: a poisonous spider the female of which is black with a red mark shaped like an hourglass on the underside of the abdomen

black widow

noun
black wid·​ow | \ -ˈwid-ˌō How to pronounce black widow (audio) \

Medical Definition of black widow

: a venomous New World spider of the genus Latrodectus (L. mactans) the female of which is black with an hourglass-shaped red mark on the underside of the abdomen broadly : any other spider of the genus Latrodectus

More from Merriam-Webster on black widow

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about black widow

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

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!