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

  • n. A mottled green rock composed of diabase.
  • n. Any of various green rocks, such as serpentine.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to a serpent.
  • n. A greenish spotted porphyry, being a diabase whose pyroxene has been altered to uralite; -- first found in the Pyreness. So called from the colored spots which give it a mottled appearance.
  • n. A mamber of a Gnostic serpent-worshiping sect of the second century.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining to a serpent.
  • n. A name originally applied to certain eruptive (diabasic or doleritic) rocks occurring in the Pyrenees, and later used with similar meaning for rocks found in Spain, Portugal, and northern Africa.
  • n. A member of a Gnostic body, of very early origin, especially prominent in the second century, and existing as late as the sixth century.


Middle English ophites, from Latin ophītēs, from Greek ophītēs (lithos), serpentlike (stone), from ophis, serpent.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin ophites, from Ancient Greek as Etymology 2, below. Compare ophites. (Wiktionary)
From Ancient Greek ὀϕίτης. (Wiktionary)


  • Geolog. ', t. ii., p. 379-415; on a similar effect produced by the action of dioritic and pyroxenic porphyry (the' ophite 'described by Elie de Beaumont, in the' Geologie de la France ', t. i., p. 72), between Tolosa and St. Sebastian, see Dufrenoy, in the' Mem.

    COSMOS: A Sketch of the Physical Description of the Universe, Vol. 1

  • Lateran, are the only examples of ophite pillars in Rome.

    Roman Mosaics Or, Studies in Rome and Its Neighbourhood

  • Very different from this is the ancient serpentine or ophite of Sparta called the _Lapis Lacedæmonius_, found in different hills near Krokee, or in Mount Taygetus in Lacedæmon, where the old quarry has recently been opened.

    Roman Mosaics Or, Studies in Rome and Its Neighbourhood

  • Mike DeVine's ophite Saturday, April 11th at 2: 56PM EDT


  • The justices job is to interpret laws. ophite: They certainly can "write law," whatever that means, when it comes to the application of Constitutional amendments.

    Original Signal - Transmitting Buzz

  • The government's search protocol must be designed to uncover only the information for which it has probable cause, and only that information may be examined by the case agents. ophite: When a supreme court rules against something they don't write an opinion that says

    Original Signal - Transmitting Buzz

  • "The whole ceremony may be considered as a lively representation of an ophite procession as it advanced through the sinuous paralleiths of Karnak.

    The God-Idea of the Ancients


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