[skawr-pee-uh n]


any of numerous arachnids of the order Scorpionida, widely distributed in warmer parts of the world, having a long, narrow, segmented tail that terminates in a venomous sting.
the Scorpion, Astronomy. Scorpius.
any of various harmless lizards, especially the red- or orange-headed males of certain North American skinks.
Bible. a whip or scourge that has spikes attached. I Kings 12:11.

Origin of scorpion

1175–1225; Middle English < Latin scorpiōn- (stem of scorpiō), equivalent to scorp(ius) scorpion (< Greek skorpíos) + -iōn- noun suffix, perhaps after pāpiliō (stem pāpiliōn-) butterfly, or stelliō (stem stelliōn-) gecko
Related formsscor·pi·on·ic [skawr-pee-on-ik] /ˌskɔr piˈɒn ɪk/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for scorpion

Contemporary Examples of scorpion

Historical Examples of scorpion

  • May the words of love I've spoke be changed to scorpion stings!

    Farm Ballads

    Will Carleton

  • The man gave them a scorpion and said: “Put it behind the hearth in the kitchen.”

  • Near the left hand ports; a little "north," lay the Scorpion.

  • But if she saw a scorpion walking about in the fields, she would not kill it as we should.

  • The star ι Libræ is about 20° northwest of Antares in the Scorpion.

    A Field Book of the Stars

    William Tyler Olcott

British Dictionary definitions for scorpion



any arachnid of the order Scorpionida, of warm dry regions, having a segmented body with a long tail terminating in a venomous sting
false scorpion any small nonvenomous arachnid of the order Pseudoscorpionida (or Chelonethida), which superficially resemble scorpions but lack the long tailSee book scorpion
any of various other similar arachnids, such as the whip scorpion, or other arthropods, such as the water scorpion
Old Testament a barbed scourge (I Kings 12:11)
history a war engine for hurling stones; ballista

Word Origin for scorpion

C13: via Old French from Latin scorpiō, from Greek skorpios, of obscure origin



the Scorpion the constellation Scorpio, the eighth sign of the zodiac
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 scorpion

c.1200, from Old French scorpion (12c.), from Latin scorpionem (nominative scorpio), extended form of scorpius, from Greek skorpios "a scorpion," from PIE root *(s)ker- "to cut" (see shear (v.)). The Spanish alacran "scorpion" is from Arabic al-'aqrab.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper