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A spider.


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.



spider (plural spiders)

  1. Any of various eight-legged, predatory arthropods, of the order Araneae, most of which spin webs to catch prey.
  2. (Internet) A program which follows links on the World Wide Web in order to gather information.
  3. (chiefly Australia and New Zealand) A float (drink) made by mixing ice-cream and a soda or fizzy drink (such as lemonade).
    • 2002, Katharine Gasparini, Cranberry and vanilla ice cream spider, recipe in Cool Food, page 339.
  4. (slang) A spindly person.
  5. (slang) A man who persistently approaches or accosts a woman in a public social setting, particularly in a bar.
  6. (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.
  7. (cooking, US, UK, historical) A cast-iron frying pan with three legs, once common in open-hearth cookery.
    • 1846, Mary Hooker Cornelius, The Young Housekeeper's Friend, page 146, recipe 28 “To fry salt pork”:
      Cut slices and lay them in cold water in the spider; boil them up two or three minutes, then pour off the water and set the spider again on the coals and brown the slices on each side.
    • 2005, Marty Davidson, Grandma Grace's Southern Favorites, recipe for “strawberry coconuts”, Rutledge Hill Press, ISBN 1-4016-0219-3, page 193:
      In spider pan or deep skillet set over hot coals, quickly fry a few at a time in deep lard until brown.
    • 2008, Corona Club (San Francisco, California), Corona Club Cook Book, page 202,
      Melt ½ the dry sugar in the spider, stirring with knife until all is melted.
  8. (cooking) Implement for moving food in and out of hot oil for deep frying, with a circular metal mesh attached to a long handle.
    • 1996, City and Guilds of London Institute, Food preparation and cooking. Cookery units. Student guide., Stanley Thornes, ISBN 0-7487-2566-0, unit 2ND5, element 2, page 157:
      If you are deep-frying your falafel, use a spider or basket to place them gently into the hot oil, which should be preheated to a temperature of 175°C (330°F).
    • 2008, Anna Kasabian and David Kasabian, The Wild Fish Cookbook, Creative Publishing International, ISBN 1-58923-317-4, page 84:
      Consider investing in a frying basket or a spider for small amounts of fish. A spider looks like a metal web and has a long handle and can lower and raise fish from the hot oil.
  9. A part of a crank, to which the chainrings are attached
  10. (slang) Heroin (street drug).
  11. (music) Part of a resonator instrument that transmits string vibrations from the bridge to a resonator cone at multiple points.
  12. A skeleton or frame with radiating arms or members, often connected by crosspieces, such 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; or a frame for strengthening a core or mould for a casting.

Derived terms[edit]



spider (third-person singular simple present spiders, present participle spidering, simple past and past participle spidered)

  1. (Internet, of a computer program) to follow links on the World Wide Web in order to gather information.
    The online dictionary is regularly spidered by search engines.

Derived terms[edit]

See also[edit]






spider m (invariable)

  1. (computing) spider (Internet software)