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

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

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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
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Word Origin & History

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
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Example sentences
Tide pools allow visitors a close-up view of knobby sea stars, octopi, and
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
The area is populated with lobsters, crabs, octopi and groupers.
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