American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. 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.
- n. One that resembles a spider, as in appearance, character, or movement.
- n. New England, Upper Northern, & South Atlantic U.S. See frying pan. See Regional Note at frying pan.
- n. A trivet.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An arthropod of the order Araneæ, Araneina, or Araneida (the old Linnean genus Aranea), of the class Arachnida, of which there are many families, hundreds of genera, and thousands of species, found all over the world. Though popularly considered in sects, spiders are not true Insecta, since they have eight instead of only six legs, normally seven-jointed, and no wings are developed. They are dimerosomatous—that is, have the body divided into two principal regions, the cephalothorax, or head and chest together, and the abdomen, which is generally tumid or globose, whence the name Sphærogastra. No antennæ are developed as such, but there are raptorial organs called
falces, which are subchelatc—that is, have a distal joint folding down on the next like the blade of a pocket-knife. (See cut under falx.) In those species which are poisonous the falces are traversed by the duct of a venom-gland. Some spiders are by far the most venomous animals in existence in proportion to their size: that the bite of a spider can be fatal to man (and there are authentic instances of this) implies a venom vastly more powerful than that of the most poisonous snakes. (See katipoand Latrodectus.) Spiders breathe by means of pulmonary sacs, or lung-sacs, nearly always in connection with tracheæ or spiracles, whence they are called pulmotracheal; these sacs are two or four in number, whence a division of spiders into dipneumonous and tetrapneumonous araneids, (See Dipneumones, 2, Tetrapneumones.) Most spiders belong to the former division. They have usually eight eyes, sometimes six, rarely four, in one genus (Nops) Only two. The abdomen is always distinct, ordinarily globose, never segmented, and provided with two or more pairs of spinnerets. (See cut under arachnidium.) The characteristic habit of spiders is to spin webs to catch their prey, or to make a nest for themselves, or for both these purposes. Cobweb is a fine silky substance secreted by the arachnidium, or arachnidial glands, and conducted by ducts to the several, usually six, arachnidial mammillæ, which open on papillæ at or near the end of the abdomen, and through which the viscid material is spun out in fine gossamer threads. Gossamer or spider-silk serves not only to construct the webs, but also to let the spider drop speedily from one place to another, to throw a “flying bridge” across an interval, or even to enable some species to “fly”—that is, be buoyed up in the air and wafted a great distance. It has occasionally been woven artificially into a textile fabric, and is a well-known domestic application for stanching blood. (See cut under silk spider.) Some spiders are sedentary, others vagabond; the former are called orbitelarian, retitelarian, tubitelarian, etc., according to the character of their webs. Spiders move by running in various directions, or by leaping; whence the vagabond species have been described as rectigrade, laterigrade, citigrade, saltigrade, etc. They lay numerous eggs, usually inclosed in a case or cocoon. The male is commonly much smaller than the female, and in impregnating the female runs great risk of being devoured, The difference in size is as if the human female should be some 60 or 70 feet tall. (See cut under silk-spider.) Spiders are carnivorous and highly predatory. Some of the largest kinds are able to kill small birds, whence the name bird-spiders of some of the great hairy mygalids, (See cut under bird-spider.) A few are aquatic, as the water-spiders of the genus Argyroneta (which see, with cut). Wolf-spiders or tarantulas belong to the family Lycosidæ; but the name tarantula is more frequently applied to the Mygalidæ (or Theraphosidæ). The common garden-spider or diadem-spider of Europe is Epeira diademata; that of the United States is E. cophinaria (or riparia). See Araneida, and cuts under chelicera. cross-spider, pulmonary, and tarantula.
- n. Some other arachnidan, resembling or mistaken for a spider; a spider-mite. See red-spider.
- n. A spider-crab; a sea-spider.
- n. A cooking-utensil having legs or feet to keep it from contact with the coals: named from a fancied resemblance to the insect—the ordinary frying-pan is, however, sometimes erroneously termed a spider. A kind of deep frying-pan, commonly with three feet.
- n. A trivet; a low tripod used to support a dish, or the like, in front of a fire.
- n. In machinery:
- n. A skeleton of radiating spokes, as a rag-wheel.
- n. The internal frame or skeleton of a gear-wheel, for instance, on which a cogged rim may be bolted, shrunk, or cast.
- n. The solid interior part of a piston, to which the packing is attached, and to whose axis the piston-rod is secured.
- n. Nautical, an iron outrigger to keep a block clear of the ship's side.
- n. In the English form of pyramid-pool billiards, a skeleton rest, or bridge, designed for certain exigencies.
- n. In archery, a prize for the best gold, awarded at the Grand National Archery meeting in England.
- n. Any of various eight-legged, predatory arthropods, of the order Araneae, most of which spin webs to catch prey.
- n. Internet A program which follows links on the World Wide Web in order to gather information.
- n. A float (drink) made by mixing ice-cream and a soda or fizzy drink (such as lemonade).
- n. slang A spindly person.
- n. slang A man who persistently approaches or accosts a woman in a public social setting, particularly in a bar.
- n. snooker, billiards A stick with a convex arch-shaped notched head used to support the cue when the cue ball is out of reach at normal extension; a bridge.
- n. cooking A cast-iron frying pan with three legs, once common in open hearth cookery. They were generally called spiders both in England and in America.
- n. A part of a crank, to which the chainrings are attached
- n. slang Heroin (street drug).
- n. music Part of a resonator instrument that transmits string vibrations from the bridge to a resonator cone at multiple points.
- v. Internet, of a computer program to follow links on the World Wide Web in order to gather information.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.) Any one of numerous species of arachnids comprising the order Araneina. Spiders have the mandibles converted into poison fangs, or falcers. The abdomen is large and not segmented, with two or three pairs of spinnerets near the end, by means of which they spin threads of silk to form cocoons, or nests, to protect their eggs and young. Many species spin also complex webs to entrap the insects upon which they prey. The eyes are usually eight in number (rarely six), and are situated on the back of the cephalothorax. See
- n. (Zoöl.) Any one of various other arachnids resembling the true spiders, especially certain mites, as the red spider (see under Red).
- n. An iron pan with a long handle, used as a kitchen utensil in frying food. Originally, it had long legs, and was used over coals on the hearth.
- n. A trevet to support pans or pots over a fire.
- n. (Mach.) A skeleton, or frame, having radiating arms or members, often connected by crosspieces; as, a casting forming the hub and spokes to which the rim of a fly wheel or large gear is bolted; the body of a piston head; a frame for strengthening a core or mold for a casting, etc.
- n. a computer program that prowls the internet looking for publicly accessible resources that can be added to a database; the database can then be searched with a search engine
- n. a skillet made of cast iron
- n. predatory arachnid with eight legs, two poison fangs, two feelers, and usually two silk-spinning organs at the back end of the body; they spin silk to make cocoons for eggs or traps for prey
- From Middle English spithre, from Old English spīder, spīþra ("spider"), from Proto-Germanic *spinþrô (“spider", literally, "spinner”), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)pend-, *(s)pen- (“to pull, stretch, spin”). Cognate with Scots spider ("spider"), West Frisian spin ("spider"), Dutch spin ("spider"), German Spinne ("spider"), Danish spinder ("spinner, spider"), Swedish spindel ("spider"). More at spin. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English spither, from Old English spīthra; see (s)pen- in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The spider," it is said, "taketh hold with her hands, and is in king's palaces;" and should a man have less perseverance than a _spider?”
“You know very well that even the word spider freaks me out.”
“With limbs and tails splayed out in the canopy, the monkeys often look as though they have five limbs - thus the name spider monkey.”
“Surprisingly, the term spider is American in origin, according to both sides of the Atlantic: The Dictionary of Americanisms (1951) and The Oxford Dictionary agree.”
“This spider is about the size of a Black Widow in body length, has a leg span of 20-30 millimeters (1 inch) and has a violin-shaped marking on its back.”
“Little Miss Muffet, a spider drops down next to her so naturally the spider is the evil one and Miss Muffet is the victim, lets feel sorry for her.”
“After that, we set up what we call a spider site, a website, and leaked it to certain persons that were close to Patrick to see if we could get a reaction from them or how they would react.”
“A new report by Swiss senator Dick Marty says the CIA orchestrated what he calls a spider web of transfer sites throughout Europe with secret detention centers in Poland and Romania.”
“Some may have only subtle physical changes, such as red palms, red spots that blanch on their upper body which we call spider angioma or fibrosis of tendons in the palms.”
“Struggling with poverty and hunger, shoplifting to feed his younger sister and himself, enduring beatings by two stepfathers and fighting back against two separate sexual predators are all part of what he calls the "spider web" of his life, each thread building on the last.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘spider’.
A list of words with definitions directing us to "see cut under" (or "see cut at") another definition (with hilarity occasionally ensuing).
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Names of animals that are also used to describe kinds of people. Nouns only, preferably single word.
For a related list, see sionnach's beastly verbs.
Words that relate to bicycling or mountain biking
Anything related to cycling; no motorcycling, please.
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They told you they're five.
Words that were well established before they gained special use in computing systems.
Definitions with a whence in them.
A list of common animal names. Keep the list to 2 syllable words.No scientific names. No proper names like 'Fluffy' the elephant.Insects and other creatures (even ficticious like 'dragon') are we...
My big word list.
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