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90s Slang You Should Know


[rat-l-sneyk] /ˈræt lˌsneɪk/
any of several New World pit vipers of the genera Crotalus and Sistrurus, having a rattle composed of a series of horny, interlocking elements at the end of the tail.
Origin of rattlesnake
An Americanism dating back to 1620-30; rattle1 + snake Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for rattlesnake
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She seemed fascinated, as a woman might have been by the striking power of a rattlesnake.

  • Mr. Cobbington's rattlesnake had got out of his box, and had been killed by one of the boarders.

    Down South Oliver Optic
  • The venom of the rattlesnake so weakened you that you are not yourself.

    Two Boys in Wyoming Edward S. Ellis
  • He had left his last boarding-place because they killed a rattlesnake belonging to him.

    Down South Oliver Optic
  • Suppose now our new recruit had run across a rattlesnake instead of a polecat!

    Endurance Test Alan Douglas
  • Though you love me like you might a rattlesnake, I happen to love you.

    Colorado Jim George Goodchild
British Dictionary definitions for rattlesnake


any of the venomous New World snakes constituting the genera Crotalus and Sistrurus, such as C. horridus (black or timber rattlesnake): family Crotalidae (pit vipers). They have a series of loose horny segments on the tail that are vibrated to produce a buzzing or whirring sound
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 rattlesnake

1620s, from rattle + snake (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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