- the common European viper, Vipera berus.
- any of various other venomous or harmless snakes resembling the viper.
Origin of adder1
- a person or thing that adds.
Origin of adder2
Examples from the Web for adder
It is more venemous than the adder, it is more destructive than hebenon or madragora.Imogen
Afterwards he seized hold of an adder, and was not bitten by it.Bunyan
James Anthony Froude
Monsey jumped, with a scream, out of his seat as though stung by an adder.The Shadow of a Crime
Burke started, as if the tones of his companion's voice had stung him like an adder.Jack Hinton
Charles James Lever
The good Book says, 'it biteth like a serpent and stingeth like an adder!'Uncle Tom's Cabin
Harriet Beecher Stowe
- 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
- any of various similar venomous or nonvenomous snakes
- 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
Word Origin and History for adder
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."