from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A reptile of the order Serpentes; a snake.
- n. In the Bible, the creature that tempted Eve.
- n. Satan.
- n. A subtle, sly, or treacherous person.
- n. A firework that writhes while burning.
- n. Music A deep-voiced wind instrument of serpentine shape, used principally from the 17th to 19th century, about 2.5 meters (8 feet) in length and made of brass or wood.
- n. Serpens.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A snake.
- n. An obsolete wind instrument in the brass family, whose shape is suggestive of a snake (Wikipedia article).
- v. To wind; to encircle.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Any reptile of the order Ophidia; a snake, especially a large snake. See Illust. under ophidia.
- n. Fig.: A subtle, treacherous, malicious person.
- n. A species of firework having a serpentine motion as it passess through the air or along the ground.
- n. The constellation Serpens.
- n. 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.
- intransitive v. To wind like a serpent; to crook about; to meander.
- transitive v. To wind; to encircle.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Crawling on the belly, as a snake, or reptant, as an ophidian; of or pertaining to the Serpentia: correlated with salient and gradient.
- Having the form or nature of a serpent; of a kind similar to that which a serpent has or might have.
- Serpentine; winding; tortuous.
- n. A scaly creature that crawls on the belly; a limbless reptile; properly, a snake; any member of the order Ophidia (which see for technical characters).
- n. [capitalized] In astronomy, a constellation in the northern hemisphere. See Ophiuchus.
- n. A musical instrument, properly of the trumpet family, having a cupped mouthpiece, a conical wooden tube bent to and fro several times and usually covered with leather, and nine fingerholes very irregularly disposed.
- n. In organ-building, a reed-stop similar to the trombone.
- n. Figuratively, a person who in looks or ways suggests a serpent; a wily, treacherous person; rarely, a fatally fascinating person.
- n. A kind of firework which burns with a zigzag, serpentine motion or light.
- n. In firearms, same as serpentin.
- To wind along like a snake, as a river; take or have a serpentine course; meander.
- To entwine; girdle as with the coils of a serpent.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. limbless scaly elongate reptile; some are venomous
- n. an obsolete bass cornet; resembles a snake
- n. a firework that moves in serpentine manner when ignited
Middle English, from Old French, from Latin serpēns, serpent-, from present participle of serpere, to creep.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin Latin serpens ("snake"), from the verb serpo ("to creep"), from Proto-Indo-European *serp-. (Wiktionary)