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90s Slang You Should Know

green dragon

See under dragon (def 8).
Origin of green dragon
An Americanism dating back to 1810-20


[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.
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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for green dragon
Historical Examples
  • More, Sir,” was the reply, “than the green dragon could hold.

  • “My address will be ‘“green dragon,” Oxford,’” said the tutor.

    Roger Ingleton, Minor Talbot Baines Reed
  • The meeting for organization was held at the green dragon tavern, on the evening of January 25, 1817.

    Our Gift Teachers of the School Street Universalist Sunday School, Boston
  • Guan Yu had a knife shaped like a half-moon which was called the green dragon.

  • It was by the green dragon that the old gentleman travelled.

  • He watered the horses at the pump, then drove to the green dragon.

  • So I carries off the bag, and turns into the green dragon on my way home to have a pint of ale.

    True to his Colours Theodore P. Wilson
  • You know the green dragon,—perhaps I ought to say, you know where it is.

    True to his Colours Theodore P. Wilson
  • And he bared his breast, exhibiting the portrait of the green dragon which had been marked there at his birth.

  • A bush cut in the shape of a bird held a green dragon in the mouth.

British Dictionary definitions for green dragon

green dragon

a North American aroid plant, Arisaema dracontium, with a long slender spadix projecting from a green or white long narrow spathe Also called dragonroot


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 green 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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