Medical Definition of Fear of spiders
Fear of spiders: An abnormal and persistent fear of spiders. Sufferers of this fear experience undue anxiety even though they realize the risk of encountering a spider and being harmed by it is small or nonexistent. They may avoid going barefoot and may be especially alert when taking showers or getting into and out of bed. This phobia was exploited in a 1990 movie called Arachnophobia.
Fear of spiders is termed "Arachnophobia," a word derived from the Greek "arachne" (spider) and "phobos" (fear). The Greek word was derived from the name "Arachne," a maiden in Greek mythology whom the goddess Athena turned into a spider after the girl, a skilled weaver, challenged Athena to a weaving contest.
"Arachno-" is also part of the term "arachnodactyly" which refers to long spider-like fingers and toes, a frequent finding in Marfan syndrome, a heritable disorder of connective tissue.
Quick GuideWhat's Your Biggest Fear? Phobias
Subscribe to MedicineNet's Depression Newsletter