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adder1

[ad-er] /ˈæd ər/
noun
1.
the common European viper, Vipera berus.
2.
any of various other venomous or harmless snakes resembling the viper.
Origin of adder1
late Middle English
950
before 950; late Middle English; replacing Middle English nadder (a nadder becoming an adder by misdivision; cf. apron), Old English næddre; cognate with Old Saxon nādra, Old High German nātara (German Natter), Old Norse nathra snake, Gothic nadrs adder, Old Irish nathir snake, Latin natrix water snake

adder2

[ad-er] /ˈæd ər/
noun
1.
a person or thing that adds.
Origin
First recorded in 1570-80; add + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for adder
Historical Examples
  • And swift as an adder Muldoon kicked him just below the knee cap.

    Lease to Doomsday Lee Archer
  • Supporters,—not captives nor victims; the Cockatrice and adder.

  • In the majority of viper or adder bites the constitutional disturbance is slight and transient, if it appears at all.

    Manual of Surgery Alexis Thomson and Alexander Miles
  • The adder (nieder or nether snake) saying that he is mud, and will be mud.

  • Now it was an adder coiled up in the warm sunshine on a little dry bare clump among some dead furze.

    The Weathercock George Manville Fenn
  • Saxham started as though an adder had flashed its fangs through his boot.

    The Dop Doctor Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
  • adder saw him some days back in a brown consultation near his club with Captain May.

  • And who was like to think, till he did see, what an adder the King nursed in his bosom?

    In Convent Walls Emily Sarah Holt
  • It is the double-distilled extract of nux vomica, ratsbane, and adder's tongue.

    New Tabernacle Sermons Thomas De Witt Talmage
  • She sprung up as if an adder had stung her, and jumped away from him.

    The Pigeon Pie Charlotte M. Yonge
British Dictionary definitions for adder

adder1

/ˈædə/
noun
1.
Also called viper. a common viper, Vipera berus, that is widely distributed in Europe, including Britain, and Asia and is typically dark greyish in colour with a black zigzag pattern along the back
2.
any of various similar venomous or nonvenomous snakes
Word Origin
Old English nǣdre snake; in Middle English a naddre was mistaken for an addre; related to Old Norse nathr, Gothic nadrs

adder2

/ˈædə/
noun
1.
a person or thing that adds, esp a single element of an electronic computer, the function of which is to add a single digit of each of two inputs
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for adder
n.

Old English næddre "a snake, serpent, viper," from West Germanic *nædro "a snake" (cf. Old Norse naðra, Middle Dutch nadre, Old High German natra, German Natter, Gothic nadrs), from PIE root *netr- (cf. Latin natrix "water snake," probably by folk-association with nare "to swim;" Old Irish nathir, Welsh neidr "adder").

The modern form represents a faulty separation 14c.-16c. into an adder, for which see also apron, auger, nickname, humble pie, umpire. Nedder is still a northern English dialect form. Folklore connection with deafness is via Psalm lviii:1-5. The adder is said to stop up its ears to avoid hearing the snake charmer called in to drive it away. Adderbolt (late 15c.) was a former name for "dragonfly."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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