1A terrestrial arachnid with pincers similar to those of a lobster and a venomous 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‘As the frog struggles against the current with the scorpion on his back, he suddenly feels the piercing sting of the scorpion's tail.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Inceoglu collected venom - carefully - by permitting scorpions to sting vials covered with a film.’
- 1.1Used in names of arachnids and insects resembling a scorpion, e.g. false scorpion, water scorpion.
- 1.2the ScorpionThe zodiacal sign Scorpio or the constellation Scorpius.
- 1.3scorpions literary A whip with metal points.
Middle English via Old French from Latin scorpio(n-), based on Greek skorpios ‘scorpion’.