tarantula

[ tuh-ran-chuh-luh ]
/ təˈræn tʃə lə /

noun, plural ta·ran·tu·las, ta·ran·tu·lae [tuh-ran-chuh-lee] /təˈræn tʃəˌli/.

any of several large, hairy spiders of the family Theraphosidae, as Aphonopelma chalcodes, of the southwestern U.S., having a painful but not highly venomous bite.
any of various related spiders.
a large wolf spider, Lycosa tarantula, of southern Europe, having a bite once thought to be the cause of tarantism.

Origin of tarantula

1555–65; < Medieval Latin < Italian tarantola. See Taranto, -ule

Can be confused

tarantella tarantula
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for tarantula

tarantula

/ (təˈræntjʊlə) /

noun plural -las or -lae (-ˌliː)

any of various large hairy mostly tropical spiders of the American family Theraphosidae
a large hairy spider, Lycosa tarentula of S Europe, the bite of which was formerly thought to cause tarantism

Word Origin for tarantula

C16: from Medieval Latin, from Old Italian tarantola, from Taranto
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

Medicine definitions for tarantula

tarantula

[ tə-rănchə-lə ]

n. pl. ta•ran•tu•las

Any of various large, hairy, chiefly tropical spiders of the family Theraphosidae, capable of inflicting a painful but not seriously poisonous bite.

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