huntsman spider

noun
plural huntsman spiders

Definition of huntsman spider

: any of a family (Sparassidae) of very large, typically gray or brown, hairy spiders that are found mainly in tropical regions, have eight eyes in two rows of four and legs extended sideways resembling those of a crab, and include one (Heteropoda venatoria) introduced into warmer parts of the U.S. Many huntsman spiders have rather flattened bodies adapted for living in narrow spaces under loose bark or rock crevices. This is aided by their legs which, instead of bending vertically in relation to the body, have the joints twisted so that they spread out forwards and laterally in crab-like fashion.— Charlotte Karp The large and hairy huntsman spiders are, despite their appearance, not considered dangerous. They are venomous and can cause pain with their bites, but experts say they are reluctant to attack and would rather scamper away when feeling threatened.— Matt Mathers

called also giant crab spider

First Known Use of huntsman spider

1889, in the meaning defined above

Buying Guide

Our team at The Usage has selected the best bug spray of 2021.

Learn More About huntsman spider

Time Traveler for huntsman spider

Time Traveler

The first known use of huntsman spider was in 1889

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near huntsman spider

huntsman's-horn

huntsman spider

Huntsville

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for huntsman spider

Cite this Entry

“Huntsman spider.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/huntsman%20spider. Accessed 27 Nov. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

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!