Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various wormlike arthropods of the class Chilopoda, having a flattened body composed of segments, each bearing a pair of jointed appendages. The appendages of the foremost body segment are modified into venomous biting organs with which it preys on insects, such as cockroaches.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A segmented arthropod of class Chilopoda with a large number of legs, traditionally one hundred (though most species have far fewer.)

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A species of the Myriapoda; esp. the large, flattened, venomous kinds of the order Chilopoda, found in tropical climates. they are many-jointed, and have a great number of feet.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. chiefly nocturnal predacious arthropod having a flattened body of 15 to 173 segments each with a pair of legs, the foremost pair being modified as prehensors

Etymologies

Latin centipeda : centi-, centi- + pēs, ped-, foot; see -ped.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin centi- ("hundred"), + -pede ("feet") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The asymmetrical advantage that enables a "centipede" is that the conspirators themselves are never outed.

    Boing Boing

  • The bread is out of the oven, so I can take the dog to the park, but I wanted to show you the drain centipede I rescued from the sink this morning.

    now i need a place to hide away

  • A centipede is blamed for the death of a pregnant woman in Malaysia:

    Archive 2007-01-01

  • The centipede is * clearly* the predator, and as such, has the right to a live kill (a natural right, not some political referendum right).

    EXTRALIFE – By Scott Johnson - Big centipede vs. mouse.

  • But keep in mind, as it’s been said, the centipede is a pet, and as such it has to be fed.

    EXTRALIFE – By Scott Johnson - Big centipede vs. mouse.

  • The blame in this tragedy appears misplaced: it is highly unlikely that a centipede was the culprit.

    Archive 2007-01-01

  • He didn't know if the centipede was the fulfillment of Candle's vision or if something worse was looming on the horizon, but he did know that their time in the underground was rapidly drawing to a close.

    Armageddon's Children

  • Examples are what is termed the centipede and other insects that are long in shape, for even the hinder portion of all these goes on progressing in the same direction as before when they are cut in two.

    On the Gait of Animals

  • His eyebrows were of a more than wonted shagginess, growing together at the bridge of his nose, so as to form a thick excrescence of hair that bore an unsettling resemblance to a member of that singularly repellent variety of arthropod commonly known as the centipede.

    Nevermore

  • Political sex scandals: the phenomenon of the "centipede"

    Boing Boing

Comments

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  • A centipede was happy quite,
    Until a frog in fun
    Said, "Pray, which leg comes after which?"
    This raised her mind to such a pitch,
    She lay distracted in the ditch
    Considering how to run.

    Anon.

    February 9, 2009