Definitions

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

  • adj. Of, resembling, or characteristic of a viper.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of or relating to a viper or vipers; resembling a viper.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to a viper or vipers; resembling a viper.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Resembling or related to the viper; of or pertaining to the Viperina, especially in the narrower sense: broadly distinguished from colubrine, more strictly contrasted with crotaline.
  • A harmless colubrine serpent of Europe, Tropidonotus viperina, colored much like the true viper. See cut under snake.
  • n. A member of the Viperina; a viper.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Latin viperinus: compare French vipérin.

Examples

  • But your Lamia has taught you some subtle 'viperine' reasoning and motiving, for the turning down one street instead of another.

    The Letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett

  • But your Lamia has taught you some subtle 'viperine' reasoning and

    The Letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett, Vol. 1 (of 2) 1845-1846

  • Well into one of the dimmest Broadway seasons in recent memory, Rob Ashford has lit the lights with a smart and satisfying production of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," the Frank Loesser-Abe Burrows musical that taught a generation of viperine office politicians how to stick a shiv into their bosses without leaving any fingerprints on the handle.

    Lovable, Huggable, And Unscrupulous Too

  • Europe, brought in by Monsieur de Nucingen, put her viperine head in at the door, and after listening to a few words whispered in her ear by her mistress, she vanished.

    Scenes from a Courtesan's Life

  • Five or six grains of this viperine poison, mixed with half an ounce of human blood, received in a warm glass, produce no visible effects, either in colour or consistence, nor do portions of this poisoned blood, mixed with acids or alkalies, exhibit any alterations.

    The Illustrated London Reading Book

  • This was in February, 1852, and when the Tablet attributed the riots and loss of life at Stockport to the Government's proclamation "against processions, vestments, and the free exercise of the Catholic religion," charged the Ministers responsible with planning murder, and described the Queen's speech as "a vile and hypocritical document," Punch replied to the editor that "we, the mass of Englishmen, look upon your viperine expectorations with simple antipathy and disgust."

    Mr. Punch`s history of modern England, Volume I -- 1841-1857

  • As I pluck a ruddy-hearted bloom, viperine thorns sting my flesh.

    Janey Canuck in the West

  • His broad cheekbones and narrow chin gave his face something of the viperine V.

    The Door in the Wall, and Other Stories

  • Thick and viperine, the thing looked, as it hurled forward.

    Son of Power

  • -- Dick, there's a sort of murderous, viperine suggestion in the poise of the head that I don't understand, 'said Torpenhow.

    The Light That Failed

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