adder

1
[ ad-er ]
/ ˈæd ər /

noun

the common European viper, Vipera berus.
any of various other venomous or harmless snakes resembling the viper.

RELATED WORDS

Origin of adder

1
before 950; late Middle English; replacing Middle English nadder (a nadder becoming an adder by misdivision; cf. apron), Old English næddre; cognate with Old Saxon nādra, Old High German nātara (German Natter), Old Norse nathra snake, Gothic nadrs adder, Old Irish nathir snake, Latin natrix water snake

Definition for adder (2 of 2)

adder

2
[ ad-er ]
/ ˈæd ər /

noun

a person or thing that adds.

Origin of adder

2
First recorded in 1570–80; add + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for adder

British Dictionary definitions for adder (1 of 2)

adder

1
/ (ˈædə) /

noun

Also called: viper a common viper, Vipera berus, that is widely distributed in Europe, including Britain, and Asia and is typically dark greyish in colour with a black zigzag pattern along the back
any of various similar venomous or nonvenomous snakes

Word Origin for adder

Old English nǣdre snake; in Middle English a naddre was mistaken for an addre; related to Old Norse nathr, Gothic nadrs

British Dictionary definitions for adder (2 of 2)

adder

2
/ (ˈædə) /

noun

a person or thing that adds, esp a single element of an electronic computer, the function of which is to add a single digit of each of two inputs
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

Word Origin and History for adder

adder


n.

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."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper