Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Either of two nonvenomous, semiaquatic snakes (Eunectes murinus or E. noteus) of tropical South America that kill their prey by suffocating it in their coils. E. murinus, the giant anaconda, can attain lengths from 5 to 9 meters (16.4 to 29.5 feet).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of various large nonvenomous snakes of the genus Eunectes, found mainly in northern South America. Their length can grow to as much as 5 m (15 ft).
  • n. Penis.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A large South American snake of the Boa family (Eunectes murinus), which lives near rivers, and preys on birds and small mammals. The name is also applied to a similar large serpent (Python tigris) of Ceylon.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A very large serpent of Ceylon, a kind of python, variously identified as Python reticulatus, or P. molurus, or P. tigris; hence, some Indian species of that genus. Also called pimbeva and rock-snake.
  • n. Used mistakenly by Daudin as the specific name of a large serpent of South America, Boa murina (Linnæus), B. anacondo (Daudin), now generally known as Eunectes marinus; hence, some large South American boa, python, or rock-snake. In zoology the name is becoming limited to the Eunectes murinus.
  • n. In popular language, any enormous serpent which is not venomous, but which envelops and crushes its prey in its folds; any of the numerous species of the families Boidæ and Pythonidæ; any boa constrictor.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. large arboreal boa of tropical South America

Etymologies

Perhaps alteration of Sinhalese henakandayā, whip snake.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the Sinhalese  (henakandaya, "one with large body"), a species of constrictor found in Sri Lanka. (Wiktionary)

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