I am wondering whether spider-like and spider-looking mean the same thing to native speakers. A friend from New Zealand describes something looking like a spider with "spider-looking". However when I googled the word, I can only find spider-like.

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The word "-looking" attached to another word is extremely colloquial. It wouldn't generally be written down on an Internet page or elsewhere, except for people who are semi-literate, or writing a novel where colloquial expressions are used.

That being said, the words are different.

"Spider-like," also written "spiderlike," indicates that something resembles some aspect of a spider: for example, crawling along the floor like a spider. It can be used for many different aspects of the way an object is perceived. For example, "molasses-like smell" is good English.

"Spider-looking" means only that the object visually resembles a spider.


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