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.

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


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