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noun, plural (especially collectively) squid, (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) squids.
  1. any of several ten-armed cephalopods, as of the genera Loligo and Ommastrephes, having a slender body and a pair of rounded or triangular caudal fins and varying in length from 4–6 inches (10–15 cm) to 60–80 feet (18–24 meters).

Origin of squid

First recorded in 1605–15; origin uncertain


  1. superconducting quantum interference device: a device that senses minute changes in magnetic fields, used to indicate neural activity in the brain.

Origin of SQUID

First recorded in 1965–70
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for squid

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Aboard the Charming Lass the squid “jigging” went on for a couple of hours.

    The Harbor of Doubt

    Frank Williams

  • The squid is a very small edition of the giant devilfish or octopus.

    The Harbor of Doubt

    Frank Williams

  • Only a salmon or a squid could have been the teachers of that wondrous learning!

    Mayflower (Flor de mayo)

    Vicente Blasco Ibez

  • But squid, squid, everywhere, the most valuable prey of all!

    Mayflower (Flor de mayo)

    Vicente Blasco Ibez

  • They were waked out of their bunks one black night by yells of "Squid O!"

    "Captains Courageous"

    Rudyard Kipling

British Dictionary definitions for squid


noun plural squid or squids
  1. any of various fast-moving pelagic cephalopod molluscs of the genera Loligo, Ommastrephes, etc, of most seas, having a torpedo-shaped body ranging from about 10 centimetres to 16.5 metres long and a pair of triangular tail fins: order Decapoda (decapods)See also cuttlefish
verb squids, squidding or squidded
  1. (intr) (of a parachute) to assume an elongated squidlike shape owing to excess air pressure

Word Origin

C17: of unknown origin


  1. British slang a pound sterling

Word Origin

C20: rhyming slang for quid


abbreviation for
  1. superconducting quantum interference device
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

Word Origin and History for squid


marine mollusk, 1610s, of unknown origin; perhaps a sailors' variant of squirt, so called for the "ink" it squirts out.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper