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) ◆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2 : a cast-iron frying pan originally made with short feet to stand among coals on the hearth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
spiderishplay \ˈspī-də-rish\ adjective
spiderlikeplay \ˈspī-dər-ˌlīk\ adjective
Examples of spider in a Sentence
We watched the spider spin its web.
Recent Examples of spider from the Web
Authorities believe the spider was transported through a shipment of produce or plants.
DETROIT Imagine stumbling upon what first appears as a ball of string, but turns out to be a massive spider not native to the United States crawling around a child’s room.
Sunday’s session, also beginning at 1 p.m., is about spiders.
In this view, webs evolved over time like an extension of the spider’s body and sensory system—
Crappie continue to bite on deep woody cover and the river channel edges, with most caught by anglers spider-rigging live minnows just off bottom.
The design is explicitly meant to recall a fountain, but numerous observers on social media have likened it to a spider — and some wags have altered renderings to insert a Godzilla battling the arachnid.
Root constriction caused by hardpan or compacted soil, sunburn, borer insects, soil nematodes, root rot, powdery mildew and spider mites might also be affecting the tree.
To wriggle out of its old exoskeleton, the spider lies on its side and slowly pulls out its legs, like someone peeling off a tight pair of jeans.
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.
Origin and Etymology of spider
Middle English spyder, alteration of spithre; akin to Old English spinnan to spin
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
SPIDER Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of spider for English Language Learners
: a small creature that has eight legs and usually creates a web of sticky threads in which it catches insects for food
SPIDER Defined for Kids
Definition of spider for Students
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
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
Seen and Heard
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