Serpent withe
Serpent Ser"pent, n. [F., fr. L. serpens, -entis (sc. bestia), fr. serpens, p. pr. of serpere to creep; akin to Gr. ???, Skr. sarp, and perhaps to L. repere, E. reptile. Cf. {Herpes}.] 1. (Zo["o]l.) Any reptile of the order Ophidia; a snake, especially a large snake. See Illust. under {Ophidia}. [1913 Webster]

Note: The serpents are mostly long and slender, and move partly by bending the body into undulations or folds and pressing them against objects, and partly by using the free edges of their ventral scales to cling to rough surfaces. Many species glide swiftly over the ground, some burrow in the earth, others live in trees. A few are entirely aquatic, and swim rapidly. See {Ophidia}, and {Fang}. [1913 Webster]

2. Fig.: A subtle, treacherous, malicious person. [1913 Webster]

3. A species of firework having a serpentine motion as it passess through the air or along the ground. [1913 Webster]

4. (Astron.) The constellation Serpens. [1913 Webster]

5. (Mus.) A bass wind instrument, of a loud and coarse tone, formerly much used in military bands, and sometimes introduced into the orchestra; -- so called from its form. [1913 Webster]

{Pharaoh's serpent} (Chem.), mercuric sulphocyanate, a combustible white substance which in burning gives off a poisonous vapor and leaves a peculiar brown voluminous residue which is expelled in a serpentine from. It is employed as a scientific toy.

{Serpent cucumber} (Bot.), the long, slender, serpentine fruit of the cucurbitaceous plant {Trichosanthes colubrina}; also, the plant itself.

{Serpent eage} (Zo["o]l.), any one of several species of raptorial birds of the genera {Circa["e]tus} and {Spilornis}, which prey on serpents. They inhabit Africa, Southern Europe, and India. The European serpent eagle is {Circa["e]tus Gallicus}.

{Serpent eater}. (Zo["o]l.) (a) The secretary bird. (b) An Asiatic antelope; the markhoor.

{Serpent fish} (Zo["o]l.), a fish ({Cepola rubescens}) with a long, thin, compressed body, and a band of red running lengthwise.

{Serpent star} (Zo["o]l.), an ophiuran; a brittle star.

{Serpent's tongue} (Paleon.), the fossil tooth of a shark; -- so called from its resemblance to a tongue with its root.

{Serpent withe} (Bot.), a West Indian climbing plant ({Aristolochia odoratissima}).

{Tree serpent} (Zo["o]l.), any species of African serpents belonging to the family {Dendrophid[ae]}. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Serpent — Ser pent, n. [F., fr. L. serpens, entis (sc. bestia), fr. serpens, p. pr. of serpere to creep; akin to Gr. ???, Skr. sarp, and perhaps to L. repere, E. reptile. Cf. {Herpes}.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) Any reptile of the order Ophidia; a snake, especially a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Serpent cucumber — Serpent Ser pent, n. [F., fr. L. serpens, entis (sc. bestia), fr. serpens, p. pr. of serpere to creep; akin to Gr. ???, Skr. sarp, and perhaps to L. repere, E. reptile. Cf. {Herpes}.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) Any reptile of the order Ophidia; a snake,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Serpent eage — Serpent Ser pent, n. [F., fr. L. serpens, entis (sc. bestia), fr. serpens, p. pr. of serpere to creep; akin to Gr. ???, Skr. sarp, and perhaps to L. repere, E. reptile. Cf. {Herpes}.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) Any reptile of the order Ophidia; a snake,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Serpent eater — Serpent Ser pent, n. [F., fr. L. serpens, entis (sc. bestia), fr. serpens, p. pr. of serpere to creep; akin to Gr. ???, Skr. sarp, and perhaps to L. repere, E. reptile. Cf. {Herpes}.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) Any reptile of the order Ophidia; a snake,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Serpent fish — Serpent Ser pent, n. [F., fr. L. serpens, entis (sc. bestia), fr. serpens, p. pr. of serpere to creep; akin to Gr. ???, Skr. sarp, and perhaps to L. repere, E. reptile. Cf. {Herpes}.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) Any reptile of the order Ophidia; a snake,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Serpent star — Serpent Ser pent, n. [F., fr. L. serpens, entis (sc. bestia), fr. serpens, p. pr. of serpere to creep; akin to Gr. ???, Skr. sarp, and perhaps to L. repere, E. reptile. Cf. {Herpes}.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) Any reptile of the order Ophidia; a snake,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Serpent's tongue — Serpent Ser pent, n. [F., fr. L. serpens, entis (sc. bestia), fr. serpens, p. pr. of serpere to creep; akin to Gr. ???, Skr. sarp, and perhaps to L. repere, E. reptile. Cf. {Herpes}.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) Any reptile of the order Ophidia; a snake,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Pharaoh's serpent — Serpent Ser pent, n. [F., fr. L. serpens, entis (sc. bestia), fr. serpens, p. pr. of serpere to creep; akin to Gr. ???, Skr. sarp, and perhaps to L. repere, E. reptile. Cf. {Herpes}.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) Any reptile of the order Ophidia; a snake,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Tree serpent — Serpent Ser pent, n. [F., fr. L. serpens, entis (sc. bestia), fr. serpens, p. pr. of serpere to creep; akin to Gr. ???, Skr. sarp, and perhaps to L. repere, E. reptile. Cf. {Herpes}.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) Any reptile of the order Ophidia; a snake,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Aristolochia odoratissima — Serpent Ser pent, n. [F., fr. L. serpens, entis (sc. bestia), fr. serpens, p. pr. of serpere to creep; akin to Gr. ???, Skr. sarp, and perhaps to L. repere, E. reptile. Cf. {Herpes}.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) Any reptile of the order Ophidia; a snake,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”