The word 蜘【くも】蛛 consists of two kanji, 蜘【くも】 and 蛛, but in only 蜘【くも】 has the furigana くも.
Does this make the 蜘 part silent?
If this is the case, are there rules for silent kanji?


No, the reading くも is a special reading assigned to the entire compound 蜘蛛, not to the first kanji. You might see the furigana for the compound printed over the first kanji sometimes, depending on how it's aligned, but if so you should interpret it as the reading for the entire compound.

  • Why would it ever be printed with furigana over just the first kanji? I've never seen that, but that would be terribly confusing (case in point). – istrasci Feb 20 '17 at 18:43
  • @istrasci I don't think it normally would be, but if someone left-aligns the furigana over the entire word (or start-aligns, to include vertical text) it might appear that way, and the OP should know how to interpret it if they run across it. I know I've seen that sort of alignment before on the web, and I thought the OP's question might have been because they saw something similar. – snailcar Feb 20 '17 at 18:53
  • It was written like this on "jisho.org". – Brian Feb 20 '17 at 21:22
  • 1
    I see this kind of alignment occasionally in magazines' headings, for stylistic reason I guess. – broccoli forest Feb 20 '17 at 22:05
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    @Brian This is a problem with jisho.org. It even shows 蜘蛛の巣 as [蜘蛛]{くものす}の巣... – Earthliŋ Feb 22 '17 at 8:27

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