- any of numerous limbless, scaly, elongate reptiles of the suborder Serpentes, comprising venomous and nonvenomous species inhabiting tropical and temperate areas.
- a treacherous person; an insidious enemy.Compare snake in the grass.
- Building Trades.
- Also called auger, plumber's snake.(in plumbing) a device for dislodging obstructions in curved pipes, having a head fed into the pipe at the end of a flexible metal band.
- Also called wirepuller.a length of resilient steel wire, for threading through an electrical conduit so that wire can be pulled through after it.
- to move, twist, or wind: The road snakes among the mountains.
- to wind or make (one's course, way, etc.) in the manner of a snake: to snake one's way through a crowd.
- to drag or haul, especially by a chain or rope, as a log.
Origin of snake
Examples from the Web for snake
For these Arabs, Iran is the raised (and loaded) head of the snake.The Nuclear Deal That Iran’s Regime Fears Most
November 22, 2014
Here the snake oil quotient is a bit more evident than in the skybox seats occupied by insights made using hard science.All These AIDS ‘Cures’ Are a Fantasy—One That Can Cause Real Harm
November 6, 2014
Which of these foods have science to back them up, and which are nothing but snake oil?Fish Oil, Turmeric, and Ginseng, Oh My! Are ‘Brain Foods’ B.S.?
Dr. Anand Veeravagu, MD
October 10, 2014
The snake was particularly kissed and touched as worshippers entered.
Finally, we came to the ornately carved temple portal itself, adorned with an image of a snake to its side.
He certainly had warmed a snake on his hearth, and how was he to be rid of it?The Armourer's Prentices
Charlotte M. Yonge
Her tail bristled a little as it curled at the tip like a snake.
They had not seen the snake at all, but a stick that came back to the thrower's hand was magic.
"Use it on whichever of us gets the first snake bite," said Linda.Her Father's Daughter
When a man is bitten by a snake in a solitary place he is in God's hands.Green Mansions
W. H. Hudson
- any reptile of the suborder Ophidia (or Serpentes), typically having a scaly cylindrical limbless body, fused eyelids, and a jaw modified for swallowing large prey: includes venomous forms such as cobras and rattlesnakes, large nonvenomous constrictors (boas and pythons), and small harmless types such as the grass snakeRelated adjectives: colubrine, ophidian
- Also called: snake in the grass a deceitful or treacherous person
- anything resembling a snake in appearance or action
- (in the European Union) a former system of managing a group of currencies by allowing the exchange rate of each of them only to fluctuate within narrow limits
- a tool in the form of a long flexible wire for unblocking drains
- (intr) to glide or move like a snake
- (tr) US to haul (a heavy object, esp a log) by fastening a rope around one end of it
- (tr) US (often foll by out) to pull jerkily
- (tr) to move in or follow (a sinuous course)
Word Origin and History for snake
Old English snaca, from Proto-Germanic *snakon (cf. Old Norse snakr "snake," Swedish snok, German Schnake "ring snake"), from PIE root *sneg- "to crawl, creeping thing" (cf. Old Irish snaighim "to creep," Lithuanian snake "snail," Old High German snahhan "to creep"). In Modern English, gradually replacing serpent in popular use.
Traditionally applied to the British serpent, as distinguished from the poisonous adder. Meaning "treacherous person" first recorded 1580s (cf. Old Church Slavonic gadu "reptile," gadinu "foul, hateful"). Applied from 17c. to various snake-like devices and appliances. Snakes! as an exclamation is from 1839.
Snake eyes in crap-shooting sense is from 1919. Snake oil is from 1927. Snake-bitten "unlucky" is sports slang from 1957, from a literal sense, perhaps suggesting one doomed by being poisoned. The game of Snakes and Ladders is attested from 1907. Snake charmer is from 1813. Snake pit is from 1883, as a supposed primitive test of truth or courage; figurative sense is from 1941. Phrase snake in the grass is from Virgil's Latet anguis in herba [Ecl. III:93].
1650s, "to twist or wind (hair) into the form of a snake," from snake (n.). The intransitive sense of "to move like a snake" is attested from 1848; that of "to wind or twist like a snake" (of roads, etc.) is from 1875. Related: Snaked; snaking.