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2 : a cast-iron frying pan originally made with short feet to stand among coals on the hearth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

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 Some on social media had fun with the appearance of a spider, hitchhiking a ride on the wreath. Anthony Faiola, Washington Post, 19 Sep. 2022 In a paper published last week in the journal Current Biology, scientists show that articles about spider bites are often false. Will Sullivan, Smithsonian Magazine, 29 Aug. 2022 Using tongs and a large slotted spoon or spider, transfer the mixture to a large serving bowl. Ellie Krieger, Washington Post, 25 Aug. 2022 These cute spider cookies are just the thing to make together for an after-school snack. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, 24 Aug. 2022 The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star did eventually step in to help, after Trey trapped the spider under a glass while his dad screamed in the background. Amanda Taylor, Peoplemag, 21 Aug. 2022 These little touches — including Eddie's spider and wyvern tattoos, which Forsythe has shared artwork of on her Instagram account — played an integral role in bringing the character to life. Emlyn Travis, EW.com, 20 Aug. 2022 Finish the farmhouse Thanksgiving centerpiece with beets, pears, small gourds, and a couple of white spider mums. Stroll through your yard and snip a few branches with colorful leaves or berries. Megan Boettcher, Better Homes & Gardens, 18 Aug. 2022 With every spider Rößler recorded, these odd movements only appeared during distinct bouts that lasted a little more than a minute and occurred periodically throughout the night. Betsy Mason, Scientific American, 8 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

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's web

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Statistics for spider

Last Updated

25 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Spider.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spider. Accessed 2 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for spider


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

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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