American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of various venomous snakes of the family Crotalidae, such as a copperhead, rattlesnake, or fer-de-lance, characterized by a small sensory pit below each eye.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A venomous serpent of the family Crotalidæ, as a rattlesnake; a pit-headed viper: so called from the characteristic pit between the eyes and the nose. See Bothrophera.
- n. Any of various venomous snakes, of the family Crotalinae, found in Asia and the Americas, with a deep pit or fossa on either side of the head that enables them to detect prey by infrared.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.) any viperine snake having a deep pit on each side of the snout. The rattlesnake and copperhead are examples.
- n. New World vipers with hollow fangs and a heat-sensitive pit on each side of the head
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