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See also: Octopus
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈɒktəpʊs/, /ˈɒktəpəs/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈɑktəpʊs/, /ˈɑktəpəs/
Audio (US) (file)
- Any of several marine molluscs of the family Octopodidae, having no internal or external protective shell or bone (unlike the nautilus, squid and cuttlefish) and eight arms each covered with suckers.
- (uncountable) The flesh of these marine molluscs eaten as food.
- An organization that has many powerful branches controlled from the centre.
- The plural octopi is a hypercorrection, coming from the mistaken notion that the -us in octōpūs is a Latin second declension ending. The word is actually treated as a third declension noun in Latin. The plural octopodes (Latin: octōpodēs) follows the Ancient Greek plural, ὀκτώποδες (oktṓpodes). The plural octopii is based on an incorrect attempt to pluralise the word based on an incorrect assumption of its origin, and is rare and widely considered to be nonstandard.
- Sources differ on which plurals are acceptable: Fowler's Modern English Usage asserts that “the only acceptable plural in English is octopuses”, while Merriam-Webster and other dictionaries accept octopi as a plural form. The Oxford English Dictionary lists octopuses, octopi, and octopodes (the order reflecting decreasing frequency of use), stating that the last form is rare. The online Oxford dictionary states that the standard plural is octopuses, that octopodes is still occasionally used, and that octopi is incorrect.
- The term octopod (both octopods and octopodes can be found as the plural) is taken from the taxonomic order Octopoda but has no classical equivalent, and is not necessarily synonymous (it can encompass any member of that order). The uncountable use of octopus is usually reserved for octopus flesh consumed for food ("He ate too much octopus last night.").
- blanket octopus
- blue-ringed octopus
- coconut octopus
- common octopus
- dumbo octopus
- giant octopus
- giant Pacific octopus
- glass octopus (Vitreledonella richardi)
- gloomy octopus
- larger Pacific striped octopus
- mimic octopus
- octopus bush
- octopus hold
- octopus stretch
- seven-arm octopus
- To put (or attempt to put) one's fingers, hands or arms in many things or places at roughly the same time.
- 1994, Susan Ketchin, The Christ-haunted Landscape:
- He rises up on his wasted legs, the healer's hands octopussed on his head.
- 2006, Stuart Lloyd, Gone Troppo: Hot Babes, Warm Weather, Cold Beer. Paradise!:
- A skinny, sauced-looking gent in shorts and baseball cap wandered in through the door, his arms octopussing no less than three pre-teen girls.
- 2018, Derrick C. Brown, Hello. It Doesn't Matter.:
- I took off my shirt, standing in swim trunks, embarrassed of my tour body, my hands octopussing around the ashamed drink tickets of my gut.
- To spread out in long arms or legs in many directions.
- 1995, Donald A. Weatherby, The Star-Spangled Specter, page 105:
- The bug-eyed press octopussed to their respective word processors.
- 1997, The Unesco Courier - Volume 50, Issues 1-6, page 33:
- Dirt roads octopussed into the interior, where there were more dried mud and shrivelled crops.
- 2002, Susan Goyette, Lures: A Novel, page 224:
- He had attached three more on so now there were seven legs octopussing out from underneath the chair.
- 2013, Jesse Hayworth, Jessica Andersen, Summer at Mustang Ridge:
- The main house was a sprawling gray two-story structure with breezeways connecting it to the dining hall and another large wing, making it look like it had outgrown itself and octopused to the other spaces.
- To plug a large number of devices into a single electric outlet.
- 1963, Hardware Age - Volume 203, Issues 7-10, page 88:
- If they're all for a single indoor tree, caution against "octopusing" of cords from other cords, and the use of a number of cords in a single receptacle.
- 1985, Ted C. Williams, The Reservation, page 206:
- By now, the reservation had electricity so THAT had to be octopussed out to the trailers too.
- 2010, Arthur Nersesian, Mesopotamia, page 53:
- The three electrical outlets I could see—though located six feet above the ground, beyond all their little reaches—were octopussed with what looked like more plugs than the circuits could handle.
- 2011, Richard Sanders, Dead Heat, page 74:
- It was an eight-channel audio recording snake, a bundled set of cables with eight plugs octopussing out of either end.
- (by extension) To grow in use vastly beyond what was originally intended.
- 1937, Fight Against War and Fascism - Volumes 5-6, page 34:
- The interlocking business organizations have octopussed beyond all imagining in recent years; they are intermingled with citizens' union-smashing committees and women's strikebreaking “patriotic” groups, such as Neutral Thousands and Women of the Pacific.
- 1953, Dun's Review and Modern Industry, volume 62, August-December 1953, page 256:
- The busy man will do two things at once in his office; and with a little forethought he can practise what psychologist Freeman calls "brain octopussing" at home, too.
- 1978, William Edward Field, A Review of the Undergraduate Program in Agricultural Education at the University of Minnesota, 1977, page 349:
- The course of study should be rooted in a survey of the needs of the community and not "octopussed" from swivel chair courses of study prepared for other areas.
- 1993, Mohammad Abdul Mannan, Growth and development of small enterprise, page 92:
- The performance of it, however, did not improve, being octopussed by centuries-old not-to-move bureaucracy.
- 2000, Murray Bromberg, The Wagers of Sin, page 102:
- Judging by the way that Boots was octopussing himself into the world of the stud farm and mastering the intricacies of thoroughbred financing, he was well on his way to raping Sport of Kings.
- To hunt and catch octopuses.
- 1956, Travel - Volume 105, page 46:
- The sport could be called octopusing or octopus hunting— and any number may play. Supposing you catch an octopus, what do you have?
- 1993, Poyer Lin, NGATIK MASSACRE PB, page 163:
- The municipal council assigned food quotas to each section and family contributions within sections. People spent the days before the visit fishing, octopusing, digging taro, cooking, and cleaning public spaces.
- To behave like an octopus.
- 1995, Donald A. Weatherby, The Star-Spangled Specter, page 77:
- Night fell especially dark and cold for August, inky blackness tendrilling in, octopussing even the street lamps, now dim with vague form.
- 2009, Becky Citra, Whiteout, page 20:
- “Strangled in the middle of the night by one of Molly's eight legs.”
“Mo-om!” Molly kicked Robin in the shins.
“Owww!” Robin lunged against the door. “I've been octopused!”
- 2015, Natasha Pulley, The Watchmaker of Filigree Street:
- It was quite a conincidence for a mechanical sea creature and he was speculating whether it could possibly have been done on purpose when Katsu stole his other sock and flopped on to the floor with an unbiological bang, whereupon it octopused out of the open door and slid down the banister.
- Hyphenation: oc‧to‧pus
- (Classical) IPA(key): /okˈtoː.puːs/, [ɔkˈt̪oːpuːs̠]
- (modern Italianate Ecclesiastical) IPA(key): /okˈto.pus/, [okˈt̪ɔːpus]
- (New Latin) octopus
- 1825, Willem de Haan, Monographiæ ammoniteorum et goniatiteorum specimen, page 10:
- Jam vero testa in hac familia sola universalis pars est, Octopodis tantum exceptis.
- Now truly a shell is a part universal in this single family, octopus the notable exception.