Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Of or resembling a serpent, as in form or movement; sinuous.
  • adjective Subtly sly and tempting.
  • adjective Relating to or derived from serpentine or soil containing serpentine.
  • noun Any of a group of greenish, brownish, or spotted minerals, Mg3Si2O5(OH)4, used as a source of magnesium and asbestos, and in architecture as a decorative stone.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To wind like a serpent; move sinuously like a snake; meander; wriggle.
  • noun In mathematics: The surface generated by a sphere whose center travels along a helix.
  • noun A special curve of the third order.
  • Of or pertaining to or resembling a serpent.
  • Especially—
  • Having or resembling the qualities or instincts ascribed to serpents; subtle; cunning; treacherous or dangerous.
  • Moving like a serpent; winding about; writhing; wriggling; meandering; coiling; crooked; bent; tortuous; sinuous; zigzag; anfractuous; specifically, in the manège, lolling out and moving over the bit, as a horse's tongue.
  • Beginning and ending with the same word, as a line of poetry, as if returning upon itself. See serpentine verse.
  • noun In French usage, part of the lock of an early form of harquebus; a match-holder, resembling a pair of nippers, which could be brought down upon the powder in the pan.
  • noun A cannon in use in the sixteenth century. The serpentine proper is described as having a bore of 1½ inches, and the cannon serpentine as having a bore of 7 inches and a shot of 53½ pounds. Compare organ-gun.
  • noun A kind of still; a serpentary.
  • noun A hydrous silicate of magnesium, occurring massive, sometimes fine, granular, and compact, again finely fibrous, less often slaty.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Min.) A mineral or rock consisting chiefly of the hydrous silicate of magnesia. It is usually of an obscure green color, often with a spotted or mottled appearance resembling a serpent's skin. Precious, or noble, serpentine is translucent and of a rich oil-green color.
  • noun (Ordnance) A kind of ancient cannon.
  • intransitive verb rare To serpentize.
  • adjective Resembling a serpent; having the shape or qualities of a serpent; subtle; winding or turning one way and the other, like a moving serpent; anfractuous; meandering; sinuous; zigzag.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Sinuous; curving in alternate directions.
  • adjective Having the shape or form of a snake.
  • adjective Of, pertaining to, or characteristic of snakes.
  • adjective Of, or having attributes associated with, the mythological serpent, such as craftiness or deceitfulness.
  • noun Any of several plants believed to cure snakebites.
  • noun An early form of cannon.
  • noun A coiled distillation tube.
  • verb archaic To serpentize; to turn or bend; to meander.
  • adjective geology, botany Of or characteristic of serpentine rocks or the plants that grow there.
  • noun mineralogy Any of several green/brown minerals consisting of a magnesium and iron silicates.
  • noun mineralogy Any of many minerals that have the same layered crystal structure.
  • noun geology An outcrop or region with soil and rock dominated by these minerals.

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

  • adjective resembling a serpent in form

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old French serpentin, from Late Latin serpentīnus, from Latin serpēns, serpent-, serpent; see serpent.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin serpentīnus, from serpēns ("serpent").

Examples

  • Basanti queen of the Hijdas beauty beyond compare zeenath in serpentine snare sohel on the balls of his toes leaps in middair his entire body in prayer kaajal her bodily muskish odour attired emotions in good care babita, priya from singapore samba footed on the holy square

    The Hijdas of Moti Katra « bollywoods most wanted photographerno1

  • Her hands gripped his hair, her legs sliding in serpentine coils to lock behind his knees.

    Busy Weekend - much accomplished...

  • KATHMANDU: The Supreme Court today once again deferred its verdict on alleged international serial killer Charles Gurumukh Sobhraj's case, further prolonging the dubbed serpentine's seven-year battle against the three-decade old murder charge.

    The Himalayan Times RSS

  • Our Sunday camp was beside what might be called a serpentine curve or series of loops in the river.

    Through the Grand Canyon from Wyoming to Mexico

  • We had visited the asbestos claims, where the edge of a blanket formation of the rock known as serpentine, containing the asbestos, lay exposed to view, twisting around the head of narrow canyons, and under beetling cliffs.

    Through the Grand Canyon from Wyoming to Mexico

  • They are cut in the rock _in situ_, hard, blackish serpentine, which is a soft grey colour on the exposed surfaces.

    From Edinburgh to India & Burmah

  • The serpentine, which is very pure and of a fine green, varied with spots of a lighter tint, often appears only superimposed on the mica-slate.

    Travels to the Equinoctial Regions of America

  • The serpentine, which is very pure and of a fine green, varied with spots of a lighter tint, often appears only superimposed on the mica-slate.

    Personal Narrative of Travels to the Equinoctial Regions of America, During the Year 1799-1804 — Volume 1

  • And that is what today's post is about-the unique plants and animals that call serpentine soil home.

    Museum Blogs

  • Dr. Ross and other opponents of the bill are concerned that removing serpentine, which is occasionally used in jewelry, as the state's rock would demonize it and thus inspire litigation against museums, property owners and other sites where the rocks sit; they cite the inclusion of a letter of support from the

    The Volokh Conspiracy

Comments

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  • "It will be like rowing in the Serpentine... come along, now, let us have a smile."

    10 points to anybody who knows what that's from.

    (and no Googling... that's just cheap. :P)

    September 7, 2007

  • Oooh! Titanic? The musical, that is.

    And if you do Google it now, this page will pop up. :-)

    September 7, 2007

  • Yes! You get 10 points, reesetee. :D

    September 7, 2007

  • Thanks, Evin290. And I don't even like most musicals--certainly not this one....

    September 9, 2007

  • Oh, no, Titanic is awful. Some of the music is sort of pretty, but the lyrics and book are horrendous!

    September 9, 2007

  • Well, when you think of it--I mean, Titanic--a musical?? Who thinks up this stuff?

    September 9, 2007

  • Maury Yeston, apparently.

    September 12, 2007

  • Indeed.

    September 12, 2007

  • ...the graceful repose of the line, as it silently serpentines about the oarsmen before being brought into actual play...

    - Melville, Moby-Dick, ch. 60

    July 26, 2008

  • In stamp collecting, the term for a wavy line impressed into stamp paper as an alternative to perforations for separating stamps.

    August 25, 2008