- The definition of an octopus is a sea creature with a soft saclike body with eight sucker-lined limbs.
An example of an octopus is the character Pearl in the movie Finding Nemo.
A giant octopus.Licensed from iStockPhoto
- any of various octopods (order Octopoda) having a soft, saclike body, a reduced coelom, an internal vestigial shell, and eight sucker-bearing arms around the mouth
- anything suggesting an octopus; esp., an organization with branches that reach out in a powerful and influential manner
Origin: ModL from Glassical Greek oktōpous, eight-footed from oktō, eight plush pous (gen. podos), foot
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
noun pl. oc·to·pus·es or oc·to·pi
- Any of numerous carnivorous marine mollusks of the genus Octopus or related genera, found worldwide. The octopus has a rounded soft body, eight arms with each bearing two rows of suckers, a large distinct head, and a strong beaklike mouth. Also called devilfish.
- Something, such as a multinational corporation, that has many powerful, centrally controlled branches.
Origin: New Latin Octōpūs, genus name, from Greek oktōpous, eight-footed : oktō, eight; see oktō(u) in Indo-European roots + pous, foot; see ped- in Indo-European roots.