Definition for SCOR'PI-ON

SCOR'PI-ON, n. [Fr. from L. scorpio; Gr. σκορπιος; probably altered from the Oriental עקרב. The Arabic verb to which this word belongs, signifies to wound, to strike, &c.]

  1. The popular English name of any species of scorpio, which is a genus of pedipalpous pulmonary arachnids. Scorpions have an elongated body, suddenly terminated by a long slender tail formed of six joints, the last of which terminates in an arcuated and very acute sting, which effuses a venomous liquid. This sting gives rise to excruciating pain, but is unattended either with redness or swelling, except in the axillary or inguinal glands, when an extremity is affected. It is seldom, if ever, destructive of life. Scorpions are found in the south of Europe, in Africa, in the East Indies, and in South America. The number of species is not accurately determined.
  2. In Scripture, a painful scourge; a kind of whip armed with points like a scorpion's tail. – 1 Kings xii. Malicious and crafty men, who delight in injuring others, are compared to scorpions. – Ezek. ii.
  3. In astronomy, the eighth sign of the zodiac, which the sun enters Oct. 23.
  4. A sea fish. [L. scorpius.] – Ainsworth. Water scorpion, an aquatic insect of the genus Nepa.

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