huntsman spider

noun

Definition of huntsman spider

1 :any of a family (Sparassidae synonym Heteropodidae) of large spiders found mainly in tropical regions and having eight eyes in two rows of four and legs extended sideways resembling those of a crab
  • The primary food for this wasp are the huntsman spiders, large hunting spiders in the family Sparassidae, which are quite common in Australia. Huntsman spiders do not build webs, and they are generally thought of as nocturnal hunters.
  • —Daniel MarlosThe Curious World of Bugs2010
called also giant crab spider
2 :a large brown spider (Heteropoda venatoria of the family Sparassidae) with a flattened body and long legs that has been introduced into warmer parts of the U.S.
  • The leg span of a mature huntsman spider has always reminded me of a toddler's splayed hand. Its brownish-gray body is about 2 inches long but is closer to 5 inches wide if the spread of its eight legs are included.
  • —Sherry BoasOrlando Sentinel26 Nov. 2012
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 huntsman spider

1936


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up huntsman 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

ditzy

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?
True or False

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

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!