Origin of adder1
Definition for adder (2 of 2)
Examples from the Web for adder
He filled her breast with the poison of asps, her eyes with the venom of the adder that lures to destruction.
It creates the same feeling within me as if you informed me that an adder was laced in my stays.The Three Perils of Man, Vol. 3 (of 3)|James Hogg
Yet the sting of the adder remains venomous, though there are many who have taken up the evil thing, and it hurted them not.Biographia Literaria|Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Adder's-tongue, probably suggested by the long forked pistil, is also an old and usual name.Field Book of Western Wild Flowers|Margaret Armstrong
A while ago I went out a little distance to view an adder which George Billings had discovered.William Clayton's Journal|William Clayton
British Dictionary definitions for adder (1 of 2)
Word Origin for adder
British Dictionary definitions for adder (2 of 2)
Word Origin and History for adder
Old English næddre "a snake, serpent, viper," from West Germanic *nædro "a snake" (cf. Old Norse naðra, Middle Dutch nadre, Old High German natra, German Natter, Gothic nadrs), from PIE root *netr- (cf. Latin natrix "water snake," probably by folk-association with nare "to swim;" Old Irish nathir, Welsh neidr "adder").
The modern form represents a faulty separation 14c.-16c. into an adder, for which see also apron, auger, nickname, humble pie, umpire. Nedder is still a northern English dialect form. Folklore connection with deafness is via Psalm lviii:1-5. The adder is said to stop up its ears to avoid hearing the snake charmer called in to drive it away. Adderbolt (late 15c.) was a former name for "dragonfly."