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2017 Word of the Year

rattlesnake

[rat-l-sneyk] /ˈræt lˌsneɪk/
noun
1.
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
1620-1630
An Americanism dating back to 1620-30; rattle1 + snake
Dictionary.com 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
  • He spoke as if the prisoner had been a rattlesnake or a sheep-stealing wolf.

    The Underdog F. Hopkinson Smith
  • It is a blessing that a rattlesnake has to coil before it can spring.

    A Woman Tenderfoot Grace Gallatin Seton-Thompson
  • Once or twice she had to jump to escape the strike of a rattlesnake.

    Johnny Bear E. T. Seton
  • Only later did I notice the rattlesnake over which I had jumped.

  • I'd as soon set down with a—a rattlesnake as I would with some humans.

    Shavings Joseph C. Lincoln
  • She hated him at that moment as she might hate a rattlesnake.

    The Hound From The North Ridgwell Cullum
British Dictionary definitions for rattlesnake

rattlesnake

/ˈrætəlˌsneɪk/
noun
1.
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
n.

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Word Value for rattlesnake

15
17
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