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[sen-tuh-peed] /ˈsɛn təˌpid/
any of numerous predaceous, chiefly nocturnal arthropods constituting the class Chilopoda, having an elongated, flattened body composed of from 15 to 173 segments, each with a pair of legs, the first pair being modified into poison fangs.
Origin of centipede
1595-1605; < Latin centipeda. See centi-, -pede
Related forms
[sen-tip-i-dl, sen-tuh-peed-l] /sɛnˈtɪp ɪ dl, ˌsɛn təˈpid l/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for centipede
Historical Examples
  • "You didn't get the Porpoise," the centipede said exultantly, as though his escape materially diminished our success.

  • You should be a centipede, Hal, instead of that forlorn biped, a bachelor.

  • If he had as many legs as a centipede, they would tire before night.

    Being a Boy Charles Dudley Warner
  • "He saw me walking in the Stad with the centipede," Greta added.

    The Dop Doctor Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
  • The warrior saw that he had now only one arrow left in his quiver, and if this one failed he could not kill the centipede.

  • Was the creature a centipede he would hardly have drumsticks to satisfy you!

    Carl and the Cotton Gin Sara Ware Bassett
  • Both the scorpion and centipede have a venomous sting, the former sometimes fatal.

    Mexico Charles Reginald Enock
  • The stings of the centipede and other animals should be dealt with exactly as that of the scorpion.

    A Guide to Health Mahatma Gandhi
  • And the centipede slid down on to the ground, and with something like a chuckle vanished.

  • During my stay there I was bitten by a centipede on the ball of my thumb.

    Torrey's Narrative William Torrey
British Dictionary definitions for centipede


any carnivorous arthropod of the genera Lithobius, Scutigera, etc, having a body of between 15 and 190 segments, each bearing one pair of legs: class Chilopoda See also myriapod
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for centipede

1640s, from French centipède, from Latin centipeda "many-footed insect," from centum "hundred" (see hundred) + pedis, genitive of pes "foot" (see foot (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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centipede in Science
Any of various flattened, wormlike arthropods of the class Chilopoda, whose bodies are divided into many segments, each with one pair of legs. The front legs are modified into venomous pincers used to catch prey. Compare millipede.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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