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2 : a cast-iron frying pan originally made with short feet to stand among coals on the hearth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

Other Words from spider

spiderish \ ˈspī-​də-​rish How to pronounce spider (audio) \ adjective
spiderlike \ ˈspī-​dər-​ˌlīk How to pronounce spider (audio) \ adjective

Examples of spider in a Sentence

We watched the spider spin its web.
Recent Examples on the Web Shelley is an experienced parent as well, having given birth to Tica, 19, seven-year-old Prim, 7, and Olive, 2 — all black-handed spider monkeys residing at Brevard Zoo. Alexandra Schonfeld, PEOPLE.com, 25 Apr. 2022 Only 13 deaths have been recorded but more than 30 people are bitten by the spider each year, according to the Australian Museum. NBC News, 3 Mar. 2022 Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider and became Spider-Man, Steve Rogers was injected with super-soldier serum and became Captain America; Bruce Banner was exposed to gamma rays, which transformed him into the Incredible Hulk. Susan Glaser, cleveland, 24 Nov. 2021 Imagine bike frames that look like they’ve been built by a spider, with hollow, sinewy strands linking the handlebars, wheels, and bottom bracket. Outside Online, 31 Aug. 2021 This week's question: A type of male spider that is often eaten by the female after mating has found a way to catapult itself away to safety moments after the act. The Week Staff, The Week, 10 May 2022 Strange explains to Chavez that Spider-Man has the powers of a spider in what turns out to be a hilarious exchange. Chris Smith, BGR, 8 May 2022 The Australian discovery builds on earlier work by Glenn King, a professor at the University of Queensland, who identified a small protein in the venom of the same funnel-web spider that was shown to markedly improve recovery from stroke. Washington Post, 20 July 2021 The spider is a goldenrod crab spider (Misumena vatia). oregonlive, 3 July 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near spider

spicy fleabane


spider's web

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Statistics for spider

Last Updated

8 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Spider.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spider. Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for spider


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

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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