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octopus

[ok-tuh-puh s]
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noun, plural oc·to·pus·es, oc·to·pi [ok-tuh-pahy] /ˈɒk təˌpaɪ/.
  1. any octopod of the genus Octopus, having a soft, oval body and eight sucker-bearing arms, living mostly at the bottom of the sea.
  2. something likened to an octopus, as an organization with many forms of far-reaching influence or control.
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Origin of octopus

1750–60; < New Latin < Greek oktṓpous (plural oktṓpodes) eight-footed; see octo-, -pod
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for octopi

business, company, partnership, society, enterprise, association, clan, shell, zoo, crowd, hookup, jungle, crew, gang, syndicate, mob, ring, outfit, bunch, octopus

Examples from the Web for octopi

Historical Examples of octopi

  • When the climate got him, he was not loath to join in my hunt for octopi.

    Riviera Towns

    Herbert Adams Gibbons

  • These were octopi, most hideous scavengers of the ocean floor!

  • And not only octopi—but octopi sheathed in metal-scaled armor!

  • The choice between the octopi and retreat stared him in the face.

  • One of the octopi writhed past him and darted onto the depth charge.


British Dictionary definitions for octopi

octopus

noun plural -puses
  1. 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)
  2. a powerful influential organization with far-reaching effects, esp harmful ones
  3. another name for spider (def. 8)
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Word Origin for octopus

C18: via New Latin from Greek oktōpous having eight feet
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 octopi

octopus

n.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper