- spider (n.)
- Old English spiþra, from Proto-Germanic *spenthro (cf. Danish spinder), from *spenwanan "to spin" (see spin). The connection with the root is more transparent in other Germanic cognates (cf. Middle Low German, Middle Dutch, Middle High German, German spinne, Dutch spin "spider").
In literature, often a figure of cunning, skill, and industry as well as poisonous predation. As the name for a type of two-pack solitaire, it is attested from 1890. Another Old English word for the creature was gangewifre "a weaver as he goes," and Middle English also had araine "spider" (14c.-15c., from French). Spider plant is from 1852; spider crab is from 1710; spider monkey is from 1764, so called for its long limbs.