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Etymology 1[edit]

From red + back.

Latrodectus hasselti


redback ‎(plural redbacks)

  1. (Australia) A venomous spider, Latrodectus hasselti, endemic to Australia.
    • 1988 June 16, Stephanie Pain, Things that go plop in the night, New Scientist, page 78,
      “If you find a redback, squash it firmly,” advised one guide.
    • 2005 October, Martha Harrison, Brilliant 10: Marydianne Andrade, Popular Science, page 58,
      Andrade first encountered the redback— whose lethal bite gives it as infamous a reputation in Australia as the black widow enjoys here in North America—when her grad-school adviser asked to travel to go to Perth to study them.
    • 2007, Steve Backshall, Steve Backshall's Venom: Poisonous Animals in the Natural World, page 114,
      Easily identified by a red, orange or brownish stripe on the abdomen, Redbacks are responsible for by far the most spider bites in Australia.
    • 2012, Peter Macinnis, Australian Backyard Naturalist, page 55,
      The only truly dangerous Australian spiders are funnelwebs and redbacks but, these days, deaths of people from these spiders seem to be a thing of the past since antivenom is now available.
  2. (US) A brown and white sandpiper, Calidris alpina, native to the Northern Hemisphere; the dunlin.
See also[edit]


Etymology 2[edit]

Blend of Red +‎ greenback

Derived from greenback, the currency of the United States of America, except using Communist Red


redback ‎(plural redbacks)

  1. (slang) the yuan (CNY), the currency of the People's Republic of China (Red Chinese money)
Coordinate terms[edit]