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tarantula

[tuh-ran-chuh-luh] /təˈræn tʃə lə/
noun, plural tarantulas, tarantulae
[tuh-ran-chuh-lee] /təˈræn tʃəˌli/ (Show IPA)
1.
any of several large, hairy spiders of the family Theraphosidae, as Aphonopelma chalcodes, of the southwestern U.S., having a painful but not highly venomous bite.
2.
any of various related spiders.
3.
a large wolf spider, Lycosa tarantula, of southern Europe, having a bite once thought to be the cause of tarantism.
Origin
1555-1565
1555-65; < Medieval Latin < Italian tarantola. See Taranto, -ule
Can be confused
tarantella, tarantula.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for tarantula
  • Visitors can have their picture taken with a tarantula or a snake.
  • That's the scale of army ant operations when they're attacking a tarantula or scorpion.
  • It is full of stuffed and mounted animals ranging from a tarantula to a mountain goat.
British Dictionary definitions for tarantula

tarantula

/təˈræntjʊlə/
noun (pl) -las, -lae (-ˌliː)
1.
any of various large hairy mostly tropical spiders of the American family Theraphosidae
2.
a large hairy spider, Lycosa tarentula of S Europe, the bite of which was formerly thought to cause tarantism
Word Origin
C16: from Medieval Latin, from Old Italian tarantola, from Taranto
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 tarantula
n.

1560s, "wolf spider," (Lycos tarantula), from Medieval Latin tarantula, from Italian tarantola, from Taranto "Taranto," seaport city in southern Italy in the region where the spiders are frequently found, from Latin Tarentum, from Greek Taras (genitive Tarantos; perhaps from Illyrian darandos "oak"). Its bite is only slightly poisonous. Popularly applied to other great hairy spiders, especially the genus Mygale, native to the warmer regions of the Americas (first so called in 1794).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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tarantula in Medicine

tarantula ta·ran·tu·la (tə-rān'chə-lə)
n. pl. ta·ran·tu·las or ta·ran·tu·lae (-lē')
Any of various large, hairy, chiefly tropical spiders of the family Theraphosidae, capable of inflicting a painful but not seriously poisonous bite.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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