crab spider

noun

: any of a family (Thomisidae) of spiders that resemble crabs in shape and in being able to walk forward, backward, and sideways see also giant crab spider

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web On the other hand, encounters with a predator like a mantis or a crab spider are far graver perils. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 11 Feb. 2010 The spider is a goldenrod crab spider (Misumena vatia). oregonlive, 3 July 2022 The preballooning behavior of a crab spider, Xysticus spp., captured on film for a 2018 PLOS Biology study. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 4 Apr. 2022 That would be Mofeed Abu Shalwa, whose winning images included a red palm weevil and a flower crab spider. Daniel Berehulak, National Geographic, 23 Oct. 2020 The results of his experiment, published recently in PLOS Biology, reveal that crab spiders do not just hurl themselves randomly into the air, but are instead careful, deliberate fliers. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, 18 June 2018 The specimens that Cho used in his experiment only measured between 0.12 and 0.24 inches long, but crab spiders are actually larger than most ballooning arachnids, making them good candidates for study. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, 18 June 2018 The flights of spiders are well known, but not their physics, so Mr. Cho tested crab spiders both in nature and in a wind tunnel, and discovered, among other things, what holds the spiders up in the air. James Gorman, New York Times, 26 June 2018 Researcher Moonsung Cho studied one of these species, the crab spider. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, 15 June 2018 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1855, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of crab spider was in 1855

Dictionary Entries Near crab spider

Cite this Entry

“Crab spider.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/crab%20spider. Accessed 8 Feb. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on crab spider

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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


Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?

PLAY