huntsman spider


plural huntsman spiders
: 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

Examples of huntsman spider in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In fact, huntsman spiders are common elsewhere, especially in Asia. Stephen C. George, Discover Magazine, 24 Oct. 2023 Despite their chilling appearance, huntsman spiders are not considered to be dangerous, according to the Australian Museum. Kirsty Hatcher, Peoplemag, 7 Oct. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'huntsman spider.' 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

1889, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of huntsman spider was in 1889

Dictionary Entries Near huntsman spider

Cite this Entry

“Huntsman spider.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jul. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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