Definitions

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

  • n. Any of numerous scaly, legless, sometimes venomous reptiles of the suborder Serpentes or Ophidia (order Squamata), having a long, tapering, cylindrical body and found in most tropical and temperate regions.
  • n. A treacherous person. Also called snake in the grass.
  • n. A long, highly flexible metal wire or coil used for cleaning drains. Also called plumber's snake.
  • n. Economics A fixing of the value of currencies to each other within defined parameters, which when graphed visually shows these currencies remaining parallel in value to each other as a unit despite fluctuations with other currencies.
  • transitive v. To drag or pull lengthwise, especially to drag with a rope or chain.
  • transitive v. To pull with quick jerks.
  • transitive v. To move in a sinuous or gliding manner: tried to snake the rope along the ledge.
  • intransitive v. To move with a sinuous motion: The river snakes through the valley.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A legless reptile of the sub-order Serpentes with a long, thin body and a fork-shaped tongue.
  • n. A treacherous person.
  • n. A tool for unclogging plumbing.
  • n. A tool to aid cable pulling.
  • n. A trouser snake; the penis.
  • v. To follow or move in a winding route.
  • v. To steal slyly.
  • v. To clean using a plumbing snake.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any species of the order Ophidia; an ophidian; a serpent, whether harmless or venomous. See ophidia, and serpent.
  • intransitive v. To crawl like a snake.
  • transitive v. To drag or draw, as a snake from a hole; -- often with out.
  • transitive v. To wind round spirally, as a large rope with a smaller, or with cord, the small rope lying in the spaces between the strands of the large one; to worm.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To move or wind like a snake; serpentine; move spirally.
  • To drag or haul, especially by a chain or rope fastened around one end of the object. as a log; hence, to pull forcibly; jerk: used generally with out or along.
  • Nautical:
  • To pass small stuff across the outer turns of (a seizing) by way of finish.
  • To wind small stuff, as marline or spun-yarn, spirally round (a large rope) so that the spaces between the strands will be filled up; worm.
  • To fasten (backstays) together by small ropes stretched from one to the other, so that if one backstay is shot away in action it may not fall on deck.
  • n. A serpent; an ophidian; any member of the order Ophidia. See serpent and Qphidia.
  • n. Specifically, the common British serpent Coluber or Tropidonotus natrix, or Xatrix torquata, a harmless ophidian of the family Colubridæ: distinguished from the adder or viper, a poisonous serpent of the same country.
  • n. A lizard with rudimentary limbs or none, mistaken for a true snake: as, the Aberdeen snake (the blindworm or slow-worm); a glass-snake. See snake-lizard, and cuts under amphisbæna, blindworm, dart-snake, glass-snake, scheltopusik, and serpentiform.
  • n. A snake-like amphibian: as, the Congo snake, the North American Amphiuma means, a urodele amphibian. See Amphiuma.
  • n. A person having the character attributed to a snake; a treacherous person.
  • n. In the seventeenth century, a long curl attached to the wig behind.
  • n. The stem of a narghile.
  • n. See snake-box.
  • n. A form of receiving-instrument used in Wheat-stone's automatic telegraph.
  • n. Same as green-snake.
  • n. Same as garter-snake.
  • n. The harlequin snake.
  • n. See scarlet.

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

  • n. a long faint constellation in the southern hemisphere near the equator stretching between Virgo and Cancer
  • n. something long, thin, and flexible that resembles a snake
  • n. a tributary of the Columbia River that rises in Wyoming and flows westward; discovered in 1805 by the Lewis and Clark Expedition
  • v. move along a winding path
  • n. a deceitful or treacherous person
  • v. move smoothly and sinuously, like a snake
  • n. limbless scaly elongate reptile; some are venomous
  • v. form a snake-like pattern

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English snaca.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English snāke, from Old English snaca ("snake, serpent, reptile"), from Proto-Germanic *snakô (compare dialectal German Schnake ("adder"), dialectal Low German Schnaak ("snake"), Swedish snok ("grass snake")), from *snakanan 'to crawl' (compare Old High German snahhan), from Proto-Indo-European *snag-, *sneg- 'to crawl; a creeping thing' (compare Sanskrit नाग (nāga, "snake")). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Raccoons, one excessively stinky skunk in the southbound lane of US 1A (different section than last time), one garter snake, one eastern milk snake _or_ northern water snake*, various things not seen in the roadside grass but making their presence felt (or smelled).

    Sunday roadkill report

  • The term snake oil is often used to describe cryptography that does not actually provide the level of security that its proponents claim.

    IT & Security Portal» IT-Observer

  • Eventually this behavior became so widespread that the term snake oil became generalized to other products, ones that made claims of effectiveness that could not easily be substantiated by consumers and should thus be suspected of being false or misleading.

    IT & Security Portal» IT-Observer

  • According to several web sites the snake is an Australian Olive Whipsnake, Demansia olivacea, and is rather venomous.

    Woodpecker vs. Snake

  • Not to be confused at all with its many nonpoisonous neighbors, this snake is a pit viper in the same general family as the Copperhead and the Rattler.

    Puff This!

  • This snake is a role model to the bulimic community everywhere.

    EXTRALIFE – By Scott Johnson - Snake coughs up an entire hippo

  • I think he is a dangerous friend — what I call a snake in the grass.

    He Knew He Was Right

  • In the tale Mr. Get-Even Coyote the snake is allowed to destroy the coyote, who has a sad fate throughout all of the tales in which he figures because of his predatory habits.

    Taytay's Tales

  • I think he is a dangerous friend -- what I call a snake in the grass.

    He Knew He Was Right

  • The 8-meter long, water-filled rubber "snake" is a prototype of a 200 meter version that the developers, Atkins Global, hopes will generate the energy required to power 1000 homes.

    Boing Boing

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Comments

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  • Either there, or in the greater Boston area.

    March 19, 2010

  • We don't have many snakes here. Am I in Ireland?

    March 18, 2010

  • Come to think of it, I don't believe there are any snakes in the greater Boston area, either... *ponders*

    March 18, 2010

  • I think he banished all the Irish pubs too. You cannot walk the streets of an Australian town without being assaulted by a Dolly O'Reilly's, a Kitty O'Shea's or a Dan Murphy's.

    March 18, 2010

  • I like this version. :)

    March 18, 2010

  • Ireland has no snakes because St. Patrick banished them to Australia.

    March 18, 2010

  • Or pagans ;-)

    March 17, 2010

  • "Why Ireland has no snakes," by a zoologist at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park. (Not that we didn't already know this, but there's some other interesting information therein.)

    March 17, 2010

  • Here's an entertaining usage. (Caution: salty language.)

    August 12, 2009