(1)   Predatory arachnid that usually has silk-spinning organs at the back end of the body; they spin silk to make cocoons for eggs or traps for prey
(2)   A skillet made of cast iron
(3)   A computer program that prowls the internet looking for publicly accessible resources that can be added to a database; the database can then be searched with a search engine



From late spiþra, from spinnan (‘to spin’). Cognate with German Spinne.


  1. Any of various eight-legged, predatory arthropods, of the order Araneae, most of which spin webs to catch prey.
  2. A program which follows links on the World Wide Web in order to gather information.
  3. A “float”; a drink made by mixing ice-cream and a soda or fizzy drink (such as lemonade).
  4. A spindly person.
  5. A man who persistently approaches or accosts a woman in a public social setting, particularly in a bar.
  6. A stick with a convex arch-shaped notched head used to support the cue when the cue ball is out of reach at normal extension. Also called a bridge.
  7. A cast-iron frying pan with three legs, once common in open hearth cookery. They were generally called spiders both in England and in America.
  8. a part of a crank, which the chainrings are attached
  9. heroin a street drug


  1. to follow links on the World Wide Web in order to gather information.
    The online dictionary is regularly spidered by search engines.