spin·​ner·​et ˌspi-nə-ˈret How to pronounce spinneret (audio)
: an organ (as of a spider or caterpillar) for producing threads of silk from the secretion of silk glands
or spinnerette : a small metal plate, thimble, or cap with fine holes through which a chemical solution (as of cellulose) is forced in the spinning of man-made filaments (as of rayon or nylon)

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Upon contact with the sleeping bug’s cuticle, candy-stripers pull sticky silk from spinnerets with their legs, slinging this glue droplet lasso around the insect. Lesley Evans Ogden, New York Times, 11 Mar. 2023 As the spider uses its legs to pull silk out of a spinneret, these globules are squeezed into a narrow tube. Helen Czerski, WSJ, 28 Oct. 2022 Actually a protein created by special organs known as spinnerets, spider silk can be used for transportation, shelter, courtship, and all kinds of creative ways to trap prey. Jason Bittel, National Geographic, 12 Sep. 2019 This solution was so alien that the scientist running the spinneret (the device that spins the liquid polyamides into fibers, like a spinning wheel making thread) was afraid Kwolek’s stuff would break their machine. Dan Samorodnitsky, Smithsonian, 21 Aug. 2019 Uraraneida have more primitive spinnerets and retain the telson that modern day spiders no longer have. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, 5 Feb. 2018 As such, many species of arachnids do not have spinnerets. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, 5 Feb. 2018 The new animal resembles a spider with its fangs, four walking legs and silk-producing spinnerets at the rear. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, 5 Feb. 2018 Dr Huang and Dr Giribet acknowledge these spiderlike features, but think that a wider statistical analysis, which takes account of other body parts as well as spinnerets and pedipalps, shows that Chimerarachne yingi is actually a Uraraneid. The Economist, 5 Feb. 2018 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'spinneret.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1826, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of spinneret was in 1826

Dictionary Entries Near spinneret

Cite this Entry

“Spinneret.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spinneret. Accessed 2 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


spin·​ner·​et ˌspin-ə-ˈret How to pronounce spinneret (audio)
: an organ especially of a spider or caterpillar that has a small hole through which the sticky fluid produced by the silk glands is forced and hardens to form a silk thread

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