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2 : a cast-iron frying pan originally made with short feet to stand among coals on the hearth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 Spooky Spiders Don't be fooled by the scary-looking spider—this candy board is nothing but sweet! Emily Vanschmus, Better Homes & Gardens, "These Ultra-Festive Candy 'Charcuterie' Boards Will Put Your Creativity on Display," 12 Oct. 2020 Dani assumes this is his way of scaring her off, but all his spider trick did was traumatize his little sister. Shannon Carlin, refinery29.com, "The Haunting of Bly Manor," 9 Oct. 2020 As for objects, there appears to be meaning behind a spider in an hourglass, candy canes and a lock of hair. Erin Jensen, USA TODAY, "'I can't believe that's you!' 'Masked Singer' reveal of Giraffe shocks Robin Thicke," 8 Oct. 2020 Passengers look for mythical creatures along the trail, including the Jersey Devil, Mothman and one enormous spider. Dewayne Bevil, orlandosentinel.com, "Gatorland’s Halloween mashes up mythical beasts, trick-or-treat," 8 Oct. 2020 Going to the Indianapolis Zoo means heading into Pumpkin Town — with science demonstrations, jokes and critters — taking a train ride, seeing an enormous spider and riding a carousel that turns in reverse. Domenica Bongiovanni, The Indianapolis Star, "Halloween 2020: 12 scary storytellers, outdoor movies and festivals in Indianapolis," 7 Oct. 2020 Gentry said the couple plans a giant spider motif this year. Doug Maccash | Staff Writer, NOLA.com, "5 New Orleans haunted houses and Halloween attractions 2020: Prepare to be scared," 6 Oct. 2020 Repurpose your plastic Easter eggs and put actual good candy in them (no trash candy corn, thanks) and maybe a couple spider stickers on the outside and hide them around the house and in the yard. oregonlive, "Oregon Health Authority says don’t trick or treat this year; here are 5 ways to celebrate Halloween during the coronavirus pandemic instead," 1 Oct. 2020 Bulbs: African lily, agapanthus, amaryllis, anemone, bulbine, calla, crinum, day lily, gingers, gladiolus, pineapple lily, rain lily, society garlic, spider lilies, walking iris, watsonia. Tom Maccubbin, orlandosentinel.com, "October in the Garden," 26 Sep. 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

18 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Spider.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spider. Accessed 25 Oct. 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

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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