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Meaning of tarantula

ta•ran•tu•la

Pronunciation: (tu-ran'chu-lu), [key]
— pl. -las, -lae
  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.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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