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[drag-uh n] /ˈdræg ən/
a mythical monster generally represented as a huge, winged reptile with crested head and enormous claws and teeth, and often spouting fire.
Archaic. a huge serpent or snake.
Bible. a large animal, possibly a large snake or crocodile.
the dragon, Satan.
a fierce, violent person.
a very watchful and strict woman.
Botany. any of several araceous plants, as Arisaema dracontium (green dragon or dragonroot) the flowers of which have a long, slender spadix and a green, shorter spathe.
a short musket carried by a mounted infantryman in the 16th and 17th centuries.
a soldier armed with such a musket.
(initial capital letter) Astronomy. the constellation Draco.
Origin of dragon
1175-1225; Middle English < Old French < Latin dracōn- (stem of dracō) < Greek drákōn kind of serpent, probably orig. epithet, the (sharp-)sighted one, akin to dérkesthai to look
Related forms
dragonish, adjective
dragonlike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for dragon
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Early were hammers ringing on anvils in the dragon Court, and all was activity.

    The Armourer's Prentices Charlotte M. Yonge
  • Yes; and the dragon with a hundred heads is a sight worth any man's seeing.

    The Three Golden Apples Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Do you think I am afraid of the dragon with a hundred heads!

    The Three Golden Apples Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • It were better for me to have been devoured by the dragon, as my poor companions were.

    Tanglewood Tales Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Every tooth of the dragon had produced one of these sons of deadly mischief.

    Tanglewood Tales Nathaniel Hawthorne
British Dictionary definitions for dragon


a mythical monster usually represented as breathing fire and having a scaly reptilian body, wings, claws, and a long tail
(informal) a fierce or intractable person, esp a woman
any of various very large lizards, esp the Komodo dragon
any of various North American aroid plants, esp the green dragon
(Christianity) a manifestation of Satan or an attendant devil
a yacht of the International Dragon Class, 8.88m long (29.2 feet), used in racing
(slang) chase the dragon, to smoke opium or heroin
Derived Forms
dragoness, noun:feminine
dragonish, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Old French, from Latin dracō, from Greek drakōn; related to drakos eye
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 dragon

early 13c., from Old French dragon, from Latin draconem (nominative draco) "huge serpent, dragon," from Greek drakon (genitive drakontos) "serpent, giant seafish," apparently from drak-, strong aorist stem of derkesthai "to see clearly," from PIE *derk- "to see." Perhaps the literal sense is "the one with the (deadly) glance."

The young are dragonets (14c.). Obsolete drake "dragon" is an older borrowing of the same word. Used in the Bible to translate Hebrew tannin "a great sea-monster," and tan, a desert mammal now believed to be the jackal.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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