A spider is a small, eight-legged animal. Some people scream when they see a spider, but most of the time spiders won’t hurt you.
You might think of spiders as falling into the category of "bugs," but they're not insects at all—spiders, like ticks and scorpions, are arachnids. Most spiders are harmless to people and helpful in controlling insect populations. Spiders feed on bugs that get caught in their sticky webs. The Germanic root of spider means "spinner." If you are terrified of spiders, you may suffer from arachnophobia, from the Latin arachnid, "spider," and phobia, "fear."