octopus

noun
oc·​to·​pus | \ ˈäk-tə-pəs, -ˌpu̇s\
plural octopuses or octopi\ ˈäk-​tə-​ˌpī \

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

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 Another Sicilian delicacy, octopus, is still a work in progress. Nancy Miller, The Courier-Journal, "Ciao Ristorante is Italian food with the ultimate Sicilian twist," 3 July 2018 Elsewhere in Mexico, the word campechano is usually used in the context of food and means just that — mixed — as in a campechano taco, made with meat and sausage, or a campechano ceviche, made with shrimp and octopus and whatever else is on hand. Michael Snyder, New York Times, "In Campeche, Pyramids Are Everywhere. Crowds Are Not," 2 Feb. 2018 The octopuses' two heads were those of Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Facebook drops PR firm after revelation of anti-Soros campaign," 15 Nov. 2018 This intrepid crayfish joins the ranks of such esteemed animals as Inky the octopus. Amanda Erickson, Washington Post, "Hero crayfish amputates his own claw to avoid being boiled alive," 4 June 2018 Start with a glass of Douro branco and paper-thin octopus carpaccio topped with cilantro, sweet potato chips and a drizzle of olive oil (13.50 euros). New York Times, "36 Hours in Lisbon," 19 Apr. 2018 Pro tip: Rosa Mexicano—no relation to the chain—is a rollicking restaurant that serves coconut shrimp and octopus with black-bean relish. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Islands in the World: 2018 Readers' Choice Awards," 9 Oct. 2018 The rainbow weevil appears to use a similar mechanism to the squid, cuttlefish, and octopus. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "“Rainbow” weevil could hold the secret to generating nature’s colors in the lab," 23 Sep. 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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Statistics for octopus

Last Updated

28 Dec 2018

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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 \
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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