Definition of scorpion in English:



  • 1A terrestrial arachnid which has lobster-like pincers and a poisonous sting at the end of its jointed tail, which it can hold curved over its back. Most kinds live in tropical and subtropical areas.

    Order Scorpiones

    • ‘Some of the more poisonous scorpions lived in the deserts of Egypt.’
    • ‘Inceoglu collected venom - carefully - by permitting scorpions to sting vials covered with a film.’
    • ‘Turning swiftly toward its prey, the scorpion darts forward with pincers outstretched, finally grabbing and stinging its victim.’
    • ‘A few yards away, a South African officer has found one of the small but highly poisonous scorpions which infest the area.’
    • ‘As the frog struggles against the current with the scorpion on his back, he suddenly feels the piercing sting of the scorpion's tail.’
    1. 1.1 Used in names of arachnids and insects resembling a scorpion, e.g. false scorpion, water scorpion.
    2. 1.2the Scorpion The zodiacal sign Scorpio or the constellation Scorpius.
    3. 1.3scorpionsliterary A whip with metal points.


Middle English: via Old French from Latin scorpio(n-), based on Greek skorpios ‘scorpion’.