octopus

noun
oc·​to·​pus | \ ˈäk-tə-pəs How to pronounce octopus (audio) , -ˌpu̇s\
plural octopuses or octopi\ ˈäk-​tə-​ˌpī How to pronounce octopi (audio) \

Definition of octopus

1 : any of a genus (Octopus) of cephalopod mollusks that have eight muscular arms equipped with two rows of suckers broadly : any octopod excepting the paper nautilus
2 : something that resembles an octopus especially in having many centrally directed branches an octopus of a corporation which lends, buys, produces, and sellsAtlantic

Illustration of octopus

Illustration of octopus

octopus 1

Examples of octopus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

This standard shrimp cocktail comes in two other varieties as well: coctel de ostion with oyster or coctel de pulpo with octopus. Courtney Dabney, star-telegram, "Pescatarian paradise: It's all about the seafood at this Veracruz-inspired restaurant | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 22 May 2018 Guests start with a house special gin and tonic cocktail, a small bite on a tostadita, and their taco of the day, which may be filled with octopus one day and steak the next. Peter Cheng, Los Angeles Magazine, "Mexican-Food Expert Bill Esparza Has Curated Cruise Excursions That Are a Gastronome’s Dream," 23 Apr. 2018 Like a drunk octopus trying to line dance at his sister's wedding, the Dems are out of step. Fox News, "Greg Gutfeld: As Trump disproves naysayers, they cling to tapes," 28 July 2018 But the real beauties are some of the more inventive dishes, like the Spanish octopus with marcona almond romesco and Basque pepper, or the neptune johnnycake smeared with honey butter, Boston smoked bluefish, and sturgeon caviar. Todd Plummer, Condé Nast Traveler, "18 Best Restaurants in Boston," 16 July 2018 Chef Marina Pérez of Malauva Wine Bar presents her take on octopus, a Galician staple, served over puréed tubers. Tom Downey, WSJ, "A Spanish Food and Wine Region Comes Alive Again," 6 Dec. 2018 The cat follows in the footsteps of the late psychic octopus Paul, who correctly predicted the outcomes of eight World Cup matches in 2010. Nina Mandell, For The Win, "A psychic cat predicted that Russia would win the first match of the World Cup," 14 June 2018 Explore all-new exhibit where family meets giant Pacific octopus, moon jellyfish and Japanese spider crabs. Rasputin Todd, Cincinnati.com, "Things to do this week in Cincinnati: May 7-13," 7 May 2018 Monk seals dine on nearly the entire buffet of foods offered in the mid-Pacific Ocean, from octopus to eel to lobster to benthic fish, any of which could be infected. Kim Steutermann Rogers, Smithsonian, "How the Tiniest of Parasites is Taking Down the Mightiest of Monk Seals," 9 July 2018

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

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First Known Use of octopus

1759, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for octopus

New Latin Octopod-, Octopus, from Greek oktōpous

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Last Updated

9 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for octopus

The first known use of octopus was in 1759

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More Definitions for octopus

octopus

noun

English Language Learners Definition of octopus

: a sea animal that has a soft body and eight long arms
: the flesh of an octopus used as food

octopus

noun
oc·​to·​pus | \ ˈäk-tə-pəs How to pronounce octopus (audio) \
plural octopuses or octopi\ -​tə-​ˌpī \

Kids Definition of octopus

: a marine animal that has a soft rounded body with eight long flexible arms about its base which have sucking disks able to seize and hold things (as prey)

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More from Merriam-Webster on octopus

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with octopus

Spanish Central: Translation of octopus

Nglish: Translation of octopus for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of octopus for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about octopus

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