Definition of web in English:



  • 1A network of fine threads constructed by a spider from fluid secreted by its spinnerets, used to catch its prey.

    • ‘Of the more than 37,000 species of spiders, all of them can make silk, but only about half use the silk to spin webs.’
    • ‘The only similarity to the deadly Australian spider is that both use a comparable type of web for capturing prey.’
    • ‘She chased the spider from its web onto adjoining vegetation to which the lead threads of the web were attached.’
    • ‘He tried various spiders to get the finest web for the purpose and carefully glued it to the eyepiece.’
    • ‘These designs typically are built in the non-sticky center of the web, where spiders wait when foraging.’
    • ‘A spider crawled across the wall, spinning its web in the doorframe.’
    • ‘There are one to four pairs of spinnerets present, even on those spiders which do not spin webs.’
    • ‘For example, spiders that hunt other spiders on their webs time their movements to coincide with wind-induced movements of the web.’
    • ‘They include both the web-spinning variety and those, which do not spin a web.’
    • ‘It stalks its prey rather than trapping it in a web.’
    • ‘We don't have any proven reason as to why these or other spiders create symmetrical webs.’
    • ‘You know the spider and how he constructs his web.’
    • ‘They are likely to spin huge webs during autumn and will keep the ‘dusters’ in the family busy.’
    • ‘I saw a spider's web and an insect larva beginning to spin a cocoon.’
    • ‘Such meals exact a price, however: after chowing down on toxic aphids, spiders spin asymmetrical webs.’
    • ‘One experiment was purportedly designed to find out whether spiders would spin different kinds of webs in near-zero gravity.’
    • ‘A million things ran through her mind, like the many intricate threads in a spider's web, only these threads were made out of fear and perplexity.’
    • ‘Crab spiders do not build webs but ambush pollinating insects on flowers with their raptorial forelimbs.’
    • ‘Although many spiders have relatively poor eyesight - those that use webs to trap prey have no need for acute vision, Nelson says; jumping spiders are an exception.’
    • ‘While many spiders build webs, others do not, but instead ambush prey as it passes by.’
    • ‘Just prior to mating, the female constructs a tiny cup nest of moss, lichens, and the silk of spiders' webs.’
    mesh, netting, net, lattice
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    1. 1.1A filmy network spun by some insect larvae, especially communal caterpillars.
      • ‘To combat another common pest, tent caterpillars, use a forked branch to wind up the webs and expose the caterpillars to predators.’
      • ‘They construct webs in the branches of shrubs and low trees in open habitat near water.’
      • ‘Two weeks later, the greyish-green larvae with short, black, hairy spines begin to appear as they make a communal feeding web on the top of the aster.’
      • ‘Third-instar larvae exit these webs, migrate to new buds, and construct larger, resin-lined webs between buds.’
      • ‘It either spins a silken web to fasten the pupa on a firm base or a silken girdle to support the pupa from a stem or a twig.’
  • 2A complex system of interconnected elements, especially one perceived as a trap or danger.

    ‘he found himself caught up in a web of bureaucracy’
    • ‘Black and his executives are claimed to make millions each year through ‘management fees’ channelled through a web of smaller companies.’
    • ‘His campaign skillfully spun a web, not of political opinion, but of beliefs and feelings.’
    • ‘There are now a number of online dating agencies specifically targeted towards married women seeking extramarital sex, so what drives married women into a web of deceit?’
    • ‘The more I think about it, the more I get tangled up in a web of interpretations, none of which make complete sense.’
    • ‘In addition the company used a web of partnerships and trusts to hide the true financial position of the business.’
    • ‘He created a web of lies about his life, including claiming he was a professional tennis player, and funded his fantasies by applying for 13 credit cards in his father's name.’
    • ‘He asserted that democracy needs ‘a web of rules, regulations, institutions, laws, morals, public opinion and conventions’.’
    • ‘This is what happens when you use a gentle little fib, one designed to make children happy, and turn it into a full scale lie, complete with intricate webs of deceit.’
    • ‘He also points out that employees are often drawn into a web of corruption by people they work with.’
    • ‘All are bound together in a web of political and sexual intrigue: each novel reveals different aspects of the truth.’
    • ‘I am tempted to give one more instance showing how plants and animals, remote in the scale of nature, are bound together by a web of complex relations.’
    • ‘These vessels form a web of complex interconnections with the channels.’
    • ‘Just in terms of carbon trading between countries, there will be a complex web for translating trading rules into every different country's legal system.’
    • ‘You can resist the opera's vision of redemption but you cannot resist music which enfolds you so completely in a web of sensuous twisting harmonies.’
    • ‘The man led us through a web of corridors, and up two flights of stairs.’
    • ‘He insists he was a success there, but he lost more matches than he won, and despite a web of financial and political intrigue to contend with behind the scenes, he suffered at the hands of the media.’
    • ‘The biggest information repository in most organisations sits in the heads of the people who work there, and the largest communication network is the web of conversations that binds them.’
    • ‘A web of social, medical, legal and political circumstances conspire against the medical care of women inmates.’
    • ‘The footballing front man was able to portray an image of being a friendly supplier fulfilling a social need, rather than being a dealer in a web of potentially lethal drugs.’
    • ‘In those days, says Heylin, Greenwich Village was ‘the epicentre of a buzzing folk revival’, a bohemian quarter located in a web of small streets.’
    • ‘So in an effort to promote integration, we instead wind up engulfing the mentally disabled in a web of political correctness.’
    • ‘His obituary pointed out that he used his post to enrich himself through a web of smuggling and warped business deals.’
    network, nexus, tangle, knot, complex, mass, conglomeration, set, series, chain, maze, snare, trap
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    1. 2.1
      short for World Wide Web
      • ‘Again and again, the history of the Web shows us the value of relinquishing control.’
      • ‘Many anti-virus vendors also make scanners available as a Web service application.’
      • ‘Alternatively, use a search engine such as Google to locate numbers via the Web.’
      • ‘Each answer can be found by searching on the Web, or digging deep in your mind.’
      • ‘Almost half of all the Danish Internet population are using the Web for banking and tax purposes.’
      • ‘The plan's flaw is that if you've got a PDA with you, you don't need to access your data via the Web.’
      • ‘The issue of making the Internet safe for kids has become a bigger one as the Web becomes ever more ubiquitous.’
      • ‘Unable to find another publisher, Huang elected to sell the book himself through the Web.’
      • ‘Let's assume that the average Web document, when printed, uses two sheets of paper.’
      • ‘The Web is full of ordinary people from all over the planet wittering on about whatever they want to.’
      • ‘But it is not enough to say that global networks and the Web will change everything.’
      • ‘The City recognises the enormous benefit of a heavily wired Britain and the media has come to love the Web.’
      • ‘Most of these are available on the Web to anyone capable of using a search engine with a modicum of ingenuity.’
      • ‘Thankfully, when it all gets too much, the Web has some quick fixes for my addiction.’
      • ‘How many other questions would yield more wrong answers on the Web than right ones?’
      • ‘So, anyway, I did some research on the Web, and found the reason for his situation.’
      • ‘Is there something that your Web readers can do to take some of this research forward?’
      • ‘I read a lot of newspapers on the Web, and this is something new and wonderful.’
      • ‘Speaking to the people behind the websites, there is now a clear view of where and how to make money from news on the Web.’
      • ‘If the patent is eventually upheld, the implications for the Web are enormous.’
      • ‘How many times have you been surfing the Web and wanted to buy a product or service?’
  • 3A membrane between the toes of a swimming bird or other aquatic animal.

    • ‘His feet are rather large, but the web is not wide as in ducks.’
    • ‘Then, as the duck draws its foot forward and brings the toes together, the web folds up so there is less resistance to the water.’
    1. 3.1A thin flat part connecting thicker or more solid parts in machinery.
  • 4A roll of paper used in a continuous printing process.

    • ‘By varying the size and placement of each cell, varying amounts of ink can be deposited onto the wallcovering by pressing the inked cylinder against the web.’
    • ‘Assume a moving web of paper approximately 6.6 m wide, moving at thousands of feet per minute.’
    1. 4.1The endless wire mesh in a papermaking machine.
  • 5A piece of woven fabric.

    • ‘Every woman made her web and bleached it herself, and the price never rose higher than 2 shillings a yard, and with this cloth almost everyone was clothed.’
    • ‘I need not remind my readers of the connection always maintained in classical poetry and legend between the spider and the weaver, the spinner and the web. Even in our vernacular we speak of ‘the web’ on the loom, and the fable of Arachne has blended itself with almost all thought on the subject.’
    mesh, netting, net, lattice
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  • [with object] Cover with or as though with a web.

    ‘she noticed his tanned skin, webbed with fine creases’
    • ‘Her dark eyes are webbed with blood, her lips chapped, glossed over with bluish balm.’
    • ‘As the name suggests, the fins are supported by parallel bony rays, which in life are webbed with thin tissue; the fins themselves contain very little muscle, and are primarily moved by muscles within the body.’
    • ‘He had scars from the war; half his chest was webbed with scars which still smarted and stung when touched roughly.’
    • ‘The lighting was romantically dim; strings of tiny white lights webbed the ceiling; the neat white-clothed tables each had a candle in a delicate glass holder.’
    • ‘St. Vitus' Cathedral's vast but delicate beauty represents the epitome of the Gothic and Neo-Gothic, with its soaring height and geometric webbed tracery on the ceiling.’
    • ‘He felt at his arms and found raised scars webbing his arms, and torso, and legs.’


Old English web(b) woven fabric of Germanic origin; related to Dutch web, also to weave. Early use of the verb was in the sense weave (fabric) on a loom.