- any of several small vipers of the genus Cerastes, including the horned viper, that have a sideways looping motion like that of a sidewinder and inhabit deserts of northern Africa and southwestern Asia.
Origin of cerastes
1768; < New Latin < Greek kerástēs literally, something horned, equivalent to kerat- stem of kéras horn + -tēs noun suffix; earlier in sense “asp,” Middle English < Medieval Latin, Latin, as above
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for cerastes
Now neither the Cobra nor the Cerastes is actually a water serpent.The Evolution of the Dragon
G. Elliot Smith
The name Cerastes, or horned, has been given to it on account of these projections.Bible Animals;
J. G. Wood
America is the country of the rattlesnake; Africa, of the cerastes; and Asia, of the hooded snake, or cobra di capello.Principles of Geology
The cerastes is of a very pale brown color, and is spotted with large, unequal, and irregularly-placed spots.
In the two species of Cerastes, or Horned Viper, the eyebrows of the male bear commonly a sort of horn.Reptiles and Birds
- any venomous snake of the genus Cerastes, esp the horned viper
C16: from Latin: horned serpent, from Greek kerastēs horned, from keras horn
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