tarantula

noun
ta·​ran·​tu·​la | \ tə-ˈran-chə-lə How to pronounce tarantula (audio) , -tə-lə; -ˈranch-lə, -ˈrant-\
plural tarantulas also tarantulae\ tə-​ˈran-​chə-​ˌlē How to pronounce tarantulae (audio) , -​tə-​ˌlē ; -​ˈranch-​ˌlē , -​ˈrant-​ \

Definition of tarantula

1 : a European wolf spider (Lycosa tarentula) popularly held to be the cause of tarantism
2 : any of various large, hairy, American spiders (family Theraphosidae) that are typically rather sluggish and capable of biting sharply though most forms are not significantly poisonous to humans

Examples of tarantula in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The tarantulas were first taken to a zoo in Seattle and then divided among zoos across the country. Rachel Berry, Cincinnati.com, "Cincinnati Zoo provides a new home for smuggled beetles and tarantulas," 3 July 2019 For our cover shot of Jake, a tarantula climbed up a thin piece of plexiglass set just a few inches in front of his nose. Shana Naomi Krochmal, EW.com, "How we got EW’s first-ever digital cover — spiders and all," 1 July 2019 Sure enough, our guide came out, opened his hands and showed us a Chilean rose-haired tarantula. Kathleen Christiansen, orlandosentinel.com, "Trainer-for-a-Day at Gatorland is an animal adventure customized for guests," 25 June 2019 A few months ago, scientists released a recording of a tarantula the size of a dinner plate killing an opossum in the rain forests of southeastern Peru. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "A spider ate a possum. The photos are the ‘stuff of nightmares.’," 19 June 2019 Danger lurks, and Lily faces threats from jungle creatures (piranhas, massive snakes, tarantulas, big cats) and its human inhabitants. Nina Maclaughlin, BostonGlobe.com, "Amazon adventures, LAMBDA laureates, and local natives," 13 June 2019 Mia ice skates, collects fairy figurines and dotes on her pets — a dog, frogs and a tarantula. Teresa Watanabe, San Diego Union-Tribune, "A sixth-grader was sick of coloring. So she skipped six grades to attend Cal State L.A.," 26 Apr. 2019 Like the view from underneath a hardwood tarantula. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "Why You Should Be Skirting All Your Chairs," 19 Apr. 2019 But Gofton’s ethical dilemma came in the form of a not-so-tiny spider found clinging precariously to a tree branch: a giant Australian tarantula called the bird-eating spider. Cleve R. Wootson Jr., Washington Post, "Australians rescued a giant spider. The rest of the world wonders why.," 12 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tarantula.' 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 tarantula

1561, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for tarantula

Medieval Latin, from Old Italian tarantola, from Taranto

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Statistics for tarantula

Last Updated

7 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for tarantula

The first known use of tarantula was in 1561

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More Definitions for tarantula

tarantula

noun

English Language Learners Definition of tarantula

: a large, hairy spider that lives in warm regions

tarantula

noun
ta·​ran·​tu·​la | \ tə-ˈran-chə-lə How to pronounce tarantula (audio) \

Kids Definition of tarantula

: a large hairy spider of warm regions of North and South America whose bite may be painful but is usually not serious to humans except for a few South American species

tarantula

noun
ta·​ran·​tu·​la | \ tə-ˈranch-(ə-)lə How to pronounce tarantula (audio) , -ˈrant-ᵊl-ə How to pronounce tarantula (audio) \
plural tarantulas also tarantulae\ -​ˈran-​chə-​ˌlē How to pronounce tarantulae (audio) , -​ˈrant-​ᵊl-​ˌē How to pronounce tarantulae (audio) \

Medical Definition of tarantula

1 : a European spider (Lycosa tarentula of the family Lycosidae) popularly held to be the cause of tarantism
2 : any of a family (Theraphosidae) of large hairy American spiders that are typically rather sluggish and capable of biting sharply though most forms are not significantly poisonous to humans

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More from Merriam-Webster on tarantula

Spanish Central: Translation of tarantula

Nglish: Translation of tarantula for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tarantula

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