from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th 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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of various eight-legged, predatory arthropods, of the order Araneae, most of which spin webs to catch prey.
  • n. 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. A spindly person.
  • n. A man who persistently approaches or accosts a woman in a public social setting, particularly in a bar.
  • n. 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. 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. Heroin (street drug).
  • n. Part of a resonator instrument that transmits string vibrations from the bridge to a resonator cone at multiple points.
  • v. to follow links on the World Wide Web in order to gather information.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. 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 Illust. under araneina.
  • n. 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. 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.

from The 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • 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 The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English spither, from Old English spīthra; see (s)pen- in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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.



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  • in cycling, it's the part between the crank and chainring . it's called a spider because it has 4 or 5 legs from the central point.

    January 12, 2013

  • "She got friendly with a few decent-looking blokes who took her to the flicks at the Piccadilly or the Capitol and then shouted her a milkshake or a spider before putting her on the bus home."

    Cloudstreet by Tim Winton, p 280 of the Graywolf Press hardcover edition

    April 3, 2010

  • i love spiders!(as long as they are not on me)

    May 26, 2009