Definition of mygalomorph in US English:



  • A large spider of a group that includes the tarantulas and funnel-web spiders. Mygalomorphs have several primitive features, including fangs that stab downward rather than toward one another.

    Suborder Mygalomorphae, order Araneae

    • ‘Female tarantulas like other mygalomorphs are able to moult after reaching maturity.’
    • ‘These spiders are easily distinguished from the mygalomorphs because they move their jaws sideways, like a pair of pliers.’
    • ‘All mygalomorphs have two pairs of ventral booklungs that operate on the principle of infusion rather than the more efficient system of inhalation.’
    • ‘Previously, the earliest known mygalomorphs, described in 1990, were about 100 million years old.’
    • ‘To imitate a mygalomorph, put your index and middle fingers in front of your mouth and move them up and down.’


1920s: from modern Latin Mygalomorphae, from Greek mugalē ‘shrew’ + morphē ‘form’.