spider

noun
spi·​der | \ ˈspī-dər How to pronounce spider (audio) \

Definition of spider

1a : any of an order (Araneae synonym Araneida) of arachnids having a short, usually unsegmented abdomen linked to the cephalothorax by the pedicel, chelicerae modified into poison fangs, and two or more pairs of spinnerets at the posterior end of the abdomen for spinning threads of silk for various uses (as in making cocoons for their eggs or webs to catch prey)

Note: Spiders are further characterized by leglike pedipalps near the mouth, usually eight simple eyes, and book lungs or tracheae in the abdomen.

b : any of various other arthropods and especially arachnids that resemble the true spiders not used technically
2 : a cast-iron frying pan originally made with short feet to stand among coals on the hearth
3 : any of various devices consisting of a frame or skeleton with radiating arms or members

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Other Words from spider

spiderish \ ˈspī-​də-​rish How to pronounce spider (audio) \ adjective
spiderlike \ ˈspī-​dər-​ˌlīk How to pronounce spider (audio) \ adjective

Examples of spider in a Sentence

We watched the spider spin its web.
Recent Examples on the Web Our government is hanging on with the strength of a spider web, and the world has taken notice. Star Tribune, 3 July 2021 Much of this aging infrastructure — which covers the property like a spider web — is overgrown with dense stands of mule fat, willows and cattails. Los Angeles Times, 20 May 2021 The front looks like a spider’s web, rendered in white and black yarn, with a circular pattern that reaches up the neck, almost giving the impression of a prim, high collar. Sarah Spellings, Vogue, 18 May 2021 The spider web unraveled, and he was reported to have revealed the scheme to his sons, who then reported him to federal authorities. NBC News, 14 Apr. 2021 Both hope to draw passengers by filling in smaller strands on the spider web of airline routes crisscrossing the United States. David Koenig, chicagotribune.com, 8 Apr. 2021 Both hope to draw passengers by filling in smaller strands on the spider web of airline routes crisscrossing the United States. David Koenig, USA TODAY, 8 Apr. 2021 Black widows are the most venomous spider in North America. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, 7 July 2021 Thus it could be said that the mongoose belongs to Rudyard Kipling, the mockingbird to Harper Lee, the lobster to David Foster Wallace, the cockroach to Kafka, the spider to E. B. White, and the snake to whoever wrote Genesis. Kathryn Schulz, The New Yorker, 5 July 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spider.' 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 spider

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for spider

Middle English spyder, alteration of spithre; akin to Old English spinnan to spin

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Time Traveler for spider

Time Traveler

The first known use of spider was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near spider

spicy fleabane

spider

spider's web

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Statistics for spider

Last Updated

27 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Spider.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spider. Accessed 28 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for spider

spider

noun

English Language Learners Definition of spider

: a small creature that has eight legs and usually creates a web of sticky threads in which it catches insects for food

spider

noun
spi·​der | \ ˈspī-dər How to pronounce spider (audio) \

Kids Definition of spider

1 : a wingless animal that is somewhat like an insect but has eight legs instead of six and a body divided into two parts instead of three and that often spins threads of silk into webs for catching prey
2 : a cast-iron frying pan

spider

noun
spi·​der | \ ˈspīd-ər How to pronounce spider (audio) \

Medical Definition of spider

1 : any of an order (Araneae synonym Araneida) of arachnids having a body with two main divisions, four pairs of walking legs, and two or more pairs of abdominal spinnerets for spinning threads of silk used especially in making webs for catching prey
2 : spider nevus an arterial spider
3 : an obstruction in the teat of a cow especially : a small irregular horny growth resulting from irritation or bruising

More from Merriam-Webster on spider

Nglish: Translation of spider for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spider for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about spider

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