Definition of web in English:

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Pronunciation: /wɛb/


1A network of fine threads constructed by a spider from fluid secreted by its spinnerets, used to catch its prey.
Example sentences
  • 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.
  • She chased the spider from its web onto adjoining vegetation to which the lead threads of the web were attached.
1.1A filmy network spun by some insect larvae, especially communal caterpillars.
Example sentences
  • 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.
  • To combat another common pest, tent caterpillars, use a forked branch to wind up the webs and expose the caterpillars to predators.
  • 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.
2A complex system of interconnected elements: he found himself caught up in a web of bureaucracy
More example sentences
  • These vessels form a web of complex interconnections with the channels.
  • A web of social, medical, legal and political circumstances conspire against the medical care of women inmates.
  • 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.
network, nexus, tangle, knot, complex, mass, conglomeration, set, series, chain, maze, snare, trap
2.1 (the Web) The World Wide Web or the Internet: material downloaded from the Web [as modifier]: Web publishing
More example sentences
  • Almost half of all the Danish Internet population are using the Web for banking and tax purposes.
  • Thankfully, when it all gets too much, the Web has some quick fixes for my addiction.
  • Again and again, the history of the Web shows us the value of relinquishing control.
3A membrane between the toes of a swimming bird or other aquatic animal.
Example sentences
  • 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.
  • His feet are rather large, but the web is not wide as in ducks.
3.1A thin flat part connecting thicker or more solid parts in machinery.
4A roll of paper used in a continuous printing process.
Example sentences
  • Assume a moving web of paper approximately 6.6 m wide, moving at thousands of feet per minute.
  • 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.
4.1The endless wire mesh in a papermaking machine on which the paper is made.
5A piece of woven fabric.
Example sentences
  • 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.

verb (webs, webbing, webbed)

[with object]
Cover with or as though with a web: she noticed his tanned skin, webbed with fine creases
More example sentences
  • He had scars from the war; half his chest was webbed with scars which still smarted and stung when touched roughly.
  • He felt at his arms and found raised scars webbing his arms, and torso, and legs.
  • 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.



Example sentences
  • In an earlier paper, I illustrated the dense, web-like pattern of collaboration that epitomized the reading and writing activities in Room 110.
  • The driver's side door was smashed in, its paint scraped off, window cracked, matching the web-like point of impact on the windshield where Jess had hit her head.
  • The curved structures that appear to spring out of these intersections are joined together by more beams, giving rise to a web-like appearance.


Old English web(b) 'woven fabric', of Germanic origin; related to Dutch web, also to weave1. Early use of the verb was in the sense 'weave fabric on a loom'.

  • weave from Old English:

    English has two words spelled weave. The one meaning ‘twist from side to side’ probably comes from Old Norse veifa ‘to wave, brandish’. The other one is Old English and comes from an ancient root shared by Sanskrit ūrnavābhi ‘spider’, or literally ‘wool-weaver’. Web is a related word, first recorded in about ad 725. The World Wide Web was first mentioned in writing in 1990, in a paper by Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau, who are credited with its invention.

Words that rhyme with web

Aurangzeb, bleb, celeb, deb, ebb, pleb, reb, Webb

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: web

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