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  1. any of several venomous snakes, especially the Egyptian cobra or the horned viper.
  2. Archaeology. uraeus.

Origin of asp1

1300–50; back formation from Middle English aspis (taken as plural) < Latin < Greek aspís orig., shield
Related formsasp·ish, adjective


noun, adjective
  1. aspen.

Origin of asp2

before 900; Middle English aspe, apse, Old English æsp(e), æps(e); cognate with Middle Low German aspe, Old High German aspa (German Espe, with altered vowel < Old High German adj. espîn), Old Norse ǫsp; akin to Latvian apse, Russian osína, Czech osika < North European Indo-European *aps-. See aspen


  1. aspartic acid.


  1. American selling price.
  2. Computers. application service provider: a company that gives individuals or businesses access through the Internet to specialized software applications and other computer-related services.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for asp

Historical Examples

  • Fierce is the dragon and cunning the asp; but woman has the malice of both.

    The Necessity of Atheism

    Dr. D.M. Brooks

  • Woodmen always call the aspen the 'asp,' dropping the termination.

  • After that he was to be ready with the asp in the fish-market every day.

  • Cleopatra was aware of this, and begged Charmian to remember the asp.

  • The asp was worshipped by the Egyptians under the name of urus.

British Dictionary definitions for asp


  1. the venomous snake, probably Naja haje (Egyptian cobra), that caused the death of Cleopatra and was formerly used by the Pharaohs as a symbol of their power over life and deathSee also uraeus
  2. Also called: asp viper a viper, Vipera aspis, that occurs in S Europe and is very similar to but smaller than the adder
  3. horned asp another name for horned viper

Word Origin

C15: from Latin aspis, from Greek


  1. an archaic name for the aspen

Word Origin

Old English æspe; related to Old Norse ösp, Old High German aspa
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

Word Origin and History for asp


poisonous snake, 1520s, earlier aspis (mid-14c.), from Old French aspe (13c.) or directly from Latin aspidem (nominative aspis), from Greek aspis "shield;" the serpent so called probably in reference to its neck hood.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

asp in Medicine


  1. aspartic acid
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.