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2 : a cast-iron frying pan originally made with short feet to stand among coals on the hearth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 spiderish (audio) \ adjective
spiderlike \ ˈspī-​dər-​ˌlīk How to pronounce spiderlike (audio) \ adjective

Examples of spider in a Sentence

We watched the spider spin its web.
Recent Examples on the Web Not since Peter Parker stepped into the spider's parlor has anyone been caught in a web like this. Fox News, "Massive spider found clinging to Texas home: 'I was terrified!'," 25 June 2020 If spider mites were a problem on the spring crop or have been a problem in the past, use a preventive spray made from seaweed extract. ExpressNews.com, "Calvin Finch: It’s time for San Antonio tomato gardeners to start over with fall plants," 18 June 2020 On the app's website, ticks are defined as blood-sucking, spider-like creatures that are common in grassy, wooded areas. Kaleb A. Brown, Detroit Free Press, "Mobile app takes aim at the bane of Michigan summers — ticks and Lyme disease," 17 June 2020 Underneath: a spider’s web of cracks radiating out from the point of contact. Sha Hua, WSJ, "Beware of Falling Tofu: China Takes on High-Altitude Littering," 16 June 2020 Remove with a spider or slotted spoon and drain on paper towels before coating in cinnamon-sugar mixture. cleveland, "Try the real recipes for these famous restaurant foods," 15 June 2020 The tiny spider, which generally measures between 0.39 and 0.59 inches across and is small enough to be on a person's fingertip, was captured in England by photographer Calvin Taylor Lee. Fox News, "Tiny spider gets big close-up with photographer's camera," 12 June 2020 Over the course of the game, Miles, one of the playable characters along with Mary Jane Watson, was bitten by a radioactive spider that crawled out of Norman Osborn's secret lab. Nick Romano, EW.com, "Miles Morales to star in new Marvel's Spider-Man game for Playstation 5," 11 June 2020 Does whatever a spider can—and then some Hanging over all of this is the fact that the PlayStation 5 is set to launch by the end of the year, with Sony expected to reveal more details on upcoming games in the near future. Ars Staff, Ars Technica, "A ton of PlayStation 4 games are on sale today," 4 June 2020

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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Statistics for spider

Last Updated

2 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Spider.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spider. Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for spider


How to pronounce spider (audio)

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


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


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

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More from Merriam-Webster on spider

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with spider

Spanish Central: Translation of 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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