octopus

[ok-tuh-puhs]
noun, plural octopuses, octopi [ok-tuh-pahy] .
1.
any octopod of the genus Octopus, having a soft, oval body and eight sucker-bearing arms, living mostly at the bottom of the sea.
2.
something likened to an octopus, as an organization with many forms of far-reaching influence or control.

Origin:
1750–60; < Neo-Latin < Greek oktṓpous (plural oktṓpodes) eight-footed; see octo-, -pod

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To octopi
Collins
World English Dictionary
octopus (ˈɒktəpəs)
 
n , pl -puses
1.  any cephalopod mollusc of the genera Octopus, Eledone, etc, having a soft oval body with eight long suckered tentacles and occurring at the sea bottom: order Octopoda (octopods)
2.  a powerful influential organization with far-reaching effects, esp harmful ones
3.  another name for spider
 
[C18: via New Latin from Greek oktōpous having eight feet]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Etymonline
Word Origin & History

octopus
1758, genus name of a type of eight-armed cephalopod mollusks, from Gk. oktopous "eight-footed," from okto "eight" (see eight) + pous "foot." Proper plural is octopodes, though octopuses probably works better in English. Octopi is from mistaken assumption that -us is the L.
noun ending that takes -i in plural.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Tide pools allow visitors a close-up view of knobby sea stars, octopi, and
  anemones.
The discovery revealed that these ancient octopi actually had more genetic
  information than do modern octopi.
One thing not mentioned is that squid and octopi have a cupric oxygen exchange
  mechanism.
The area is populated with lobsters, crabs, octopi and groupers.
Related Words
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature