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[spahy-der] /ˈspaɪ dər/
any of numerous predaceous arachnids of the order Araneae, most of which spin webs that serve as nests and as traps for prey.
(loosely) any of various other arachnids resembling or suggesting these.
any of various things resembling or suggesting a spider.
a frying pan, originally one with legs or feet.
a trivet or tripod, as for supporting a pot or pan on a hearth.
  1. a part having a number of radiating spokes or arms, usually not connected at their outer ends.
  2. Also called cross. (in a universal joint) a crosslike part pivoted between the forked ends of two shafts to transmit motion between them.
Digital Technology. web crawler.
an evil person who entraps or lures others by wiles.
a device attached to a cultivator, for pulverizing the soil.
Origin of spider
before 1150; Middle English spithre, Old English spīthra, akin to spinnan to spin; cognate with Danish spinder
Related forms
spiderless, adjective
spiderlike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for spiders
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I'll go back to my frogs and toads and leeches, and spiders and wasps and bees.

    A Modern Tomboy L. T. Meade
  • He hides away in the middle of the web and lets the other spiders run and fetch.

    Blow The Man Down Holman Day
  • Ice cream parlors and fruit stores sometimes serve as spiders' webs for entanglement.

  • "I do like spiders when they are very, very fat," sounded Babs' voice across the room.

    A Young Mutineer Mrs. L. T. Meade
  • This is a comforter, a quilt, for the spiders babies, softer than any swans down and warm as toast.

    Insect Adventures J. Henri Fabre
British Dictionary definitions for spiders


any predatory silk-producing arachnid of the order Araneae, having four pairs of legs and a rounded unsegmented body consisting of abdomen and cephalothorax See also wolf spider, trap-door spider, tarantula, black widow
any of various similar or related arachnids
a hub fitted with radiating spokes or arms that serve to transmit power or support a load
(agriculture) an instrument used with a cultivator to pulverize soil
any implement or tool having the shape of a spider
(nautical) a metal frame fitted at the base of a mast to which halyards are tied when not in use
any part of a machine having a number of radiating spokes, tines, or arms
(Brit) Also called octopus. a cluster of elastic straps fastened at a central point and used to hold a load on a car rack, motorcycle, etc
(billiards, snooker) a rest having long legs, used to raise the cue above the level of the height of the ball
(angling) an artificial fly tied with a hackle and no wings, perhaps originally thought to imitate a spider
(computing) a computer program that is capable of performing sophisticated recursive searches on the internet
short for spider phaeton
Word Origin
Old English spīthra; related to Danish spinder, German Spinne; see spin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for spiders



Old English spiþra, from Proto-Germanic *spenthro (cf. Danish spinder), from *spenwanan "to spin" (see spin). The connection with the root is more transparent in other Germanic cognates (cf. Middle Low German, Middle Dutch, Middle High German, German spinne, Dutch spin "spider").

In literature, often a figure of cunning, skill, and industry as well as poisonous predation. As the name for a type of two-pack solitaire, it is attested from 1890. Another Old English word for the creature was gangewifre "a weaver as he goes," and Middle English also had araine "spider" (14c.-15c., from French). Spider plant is from 1852; spider crab is from 1710; spider monkey is from 1764, so called for its long limbs.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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spiders in Medicine

spider spi·der (spī'dər)

  1. Any of numerous arachnids of the order Araneae, having a body divided into a cephalothorax bearing eight legs, two poison fangs, and two feelers and an unsegmented abdomen bearing several spinnerets that produce the silk used to make nests, cocoons, or webs for trapping insects.

  2. An arterial spider.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Related Abbreviations for spiders


Standard and Poor's depositary receipts
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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spiders in the Bible

The trust of the hypocrite is compared to the spider's web or house (Job 8:14). It is said of the wicked by Isaiah that they "weave the spider's web" (59:5), i.e., their works and designs are, like the spider's web, vain and useless. The Hebrew word here used is _'akkabish_, "a swift weaver." In Prov. 30:28 a different Hebrew word (semamith) is used. It is rendered in the Vulgate by stellio, and in the Revised Version by "lizard." It may, however, represent the spider, of which there are, it is said, about seven hundred species in Palestine.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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