\ˈweb \

Definition of web 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a fabric on a loom or in process of being removed from a loom

2a : cobweb, spiderweb

b : a network of silken thread spun especially by the larvae of various insects (such as a tent caterpillar) and usually serving as a nest or shelter

3 : a tissue or membrane of an animal or plant especially : that uniting fingers or toes either at their bases (as in humans) or for a greater part of their length (as in many waterbirds)

4a : a thin metal sheet, plate, or strip

b : the plate connecting the upper and lower flanges of a girder or rail

c : the arm of a crank

5 : something resembling a web:

a : snare, entanglement a web of intrigue ensnarled in a web of folly— D. A. Stockman

b : an intricate pattern or structure suggestive of something woven : network

6 : the series of barbs on each side of the shaft of a feather : vane

7a : a continuous sheet of paper manufactured or undergoing manufacture on a paper machine

b : a roll of paper for use in a rotary printing press

8 : the part of a ribbed vault between the ribs

9 or Web : world wide web


webbed; webbing

Definition of web (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to construct or form a web

transitive verb

1 : to cover with a web or network

3 : to provide with a web

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Other Words from web


webbed \ˈwebd \ adjective
weblike \ˈweb-ˌlīk \ adjective

Synonyms for web

Synonyms: Noun

ambush, net, snare, trap

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Examples of web in a Sentence


I spent the afternoon surfing the Web. The spider was spinning its web.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

However, activating the brain’s reward system unleashes chemical signals that thwart this web of checks and balances in a manner that disables these pro-tumor MDSCs. Esther Landhuis, Scientific American, "Could Brain Stimulation Slow Cancer?," 13 July 2018 Riggers strung a web of static ropes for hoisting the cocoon-like stretchers over vast fields of jagged rocks. Shibani Mahtani, Washington Post, "‘Time is running out’: Inside the treacherous rescue of boys trapped in a Thai cave," 13 July 2018 But a review of the company’s finances and interviews with former employees reveal a murky web of financial and previously undisclosed ties to the Chinese government. Dan Levin, New York Times, "A Tech Guru Captivated Canada. Then He Fled to China.," 10 July 2018 The company labored to monitor and control the supply chain, challenging entrenched relationships that tie rural villages to cities through an opaque web of middlemen in the informal economy. Bill Spindle, WSJ, "A Milk Startup Takes On 300 Million Cows," 7 July 2018 Even within each of those underlying issues lies a web of complexities. John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press, "Gentrification misses real problem in Detroit, urban expert warns," 7 July 2018 An idyllic enclave: Isolated from the web of surface streets clogged with Waze-wielding commuters, Ladera Heights represents a peaceful oasis on the bustling Westside. Scott Garner, latimes.com, "Neighborhood Spotlight: Pricey Ladera Heights, tucked away in the Westside, retains a sense of community," 6 July 2018 Yet Latin America’s web of 33 subregional preferential trade agreements, each with different rules, is giving diminishing returns. The Economist, "What AMLO portends for Latin America," 5 July 2018 Depending on your setup, access to the back of the dock might be blocked or covered by a web of cables—finding a port like a headphone jack among a sea of other connectors on the back of a dock would be quite frustrating in that situation. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Guidemaster: Picking the right Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C dock for your desk," 3 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Each of its shows received fresh rounds of attention from the viewing public due to the sheer novelty that Netflix shows — which, at the time, still seemed more akin to web series rather than accomplished television — were actually good. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "AT&T plans to expand HBO, but could destroy it in the process," 11 July 2018 Instead, the ball landed in George’s webbing for the game’s final out. Blair Kerkhoff, kansascity, "Can you imagine a 16-year-old playing in the majors? This Rockhurst grad did, for the KC Athletics," 8 June 2018 Adults have white plumage, black wings, and webbed feet, along with tubular nostrils on either side of their hooked, pink bills. National Geographic, "The Biggest Bird That Ever Lived and 5 More Bird Superstars," 15 May 2018 Loeffler Randall has a roomy canvas bag with frazada webbing hand-woven in Bolivia. Hayley Phelan, New York Times, "It’s Almost Spring. Let’s Get Organized.," 14 Mar. 2018 DNSCrypt's interesting cryptography choices (at least from the point of view of developers used to web crypto) may spook some developers. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "How to keep your ISP’s nose out of your browser history with encrypted DNS," 8 Apr. 2018 My boobs are up two cup sizes and also webbed with little apostrophes of growth. Laura Goode, Glamour, "No Thanks, Kylie—I’ll Keep My 'Post-Baby Body'," 22 Mar. 2018 Mosquitoes and flies, which also develop inside the pitcher’s fluid, get trapped in X. beaveri webs when exiting the plant as adults. Joanna Klein, New York Times, "The Weird World Inside a Pitcher Plant," 7 Mar. 2018 Sans sports bra, her perky breasts were intricately webbed with stretch marks. Hannah Morrill, Cosmopolitan, "Why I Feel More Confident When I'm Naked," 29 Aug. 2016

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1604, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for web


Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old Norse vefr web, Old English wefan to weave

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Learn More about web

Dictionary Entries near web






web belt


Phrases Related to web

spider's web

the Web

the World Wide Web

Statistics for web

Last Updated

19 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for web

The first known use of web was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for web



English Language Learners Definition of web

: a net made from silk threads woven together by a spider

: a complicated arrangement or pattern of things

: an area of skin that is between the fingers or toes of an animal or bird (such as a duck)


\ˈweb \

Kids Definition of web

 (Entry 1 of 2)

2 : a network of threads spun especially by the larvae of certain insects (as tent caterpillars) and usually serving as a nest or shelter

3 : something that catches and holds like a spider's web He was caught in a web of lies.

4 : a complex pattern like something woven a web of trails

5 : a layer of skin or tissue that joins the toes of an animal (as a duck)

6 capitalized : world wide web


webbed; webbing

Kids Definition of web (Entry 2 of 2)

: to join or surround with strands woven together


\ˈweb \

Medical Definition of web 

: a tissue or membrane of an animal or plant especially : that uniting fingers or toes either at their bases (as in humans) or for a greater part of their length (as in many waterbirds)

Other Words from web

webbed \ˈwebd \ adjective

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Comments on web

What made you want to look up web? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a state of commotion or excitement

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