- any octopod of the genus Octopus, having a soft, oval body and eight sucker-bearing arms, living mostly at the bottom of the sea.
- something likened to an octopus, as an organization with many forms of far-reaching influence or control.
Origin of octopus
Examples from the Web for octopi
When the climate got him, he was not loath to join in my hunt for octopi.Riviera Towns
Herbert Adams Gibbons
The choice between the octopi and retreat stared him in the face.
And not only octopi—but octopi sheathed in metal-scaled armor!
These were octopi, most hideous scavengers of the ocean floor!
He had brought the NX-1 directly in line with the octopi ship.
- any cephalopod mollusc of the genera Octopus, Eledone, etc, having a soft oval body with eight long suckered tentacles and occurring at the sea bottom: order Octopoda (octopods)
- a powerful influential organization with far-reaching effects, esp harmful ones
- another name for spider (def. 8)
Word Origin and History for octopi
1758, genus name of a type of eight-armed cephalopod mollusks, from Greek oktopous, literally "eight-footed," from okto "eight" (see eight) + pous "foot" (see foot (n.)). Proper plural is octopodes, though octopuses probably works better in English. Octopi is from mistaken assumption that -us in this word is the Latin noun ending that takes -i in plural.