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anaconda

[an-uh-kon-duh]
noun
  1. a South American boa, Eunectes murinus, that often grows to a length of more than 25 feet (7.6 meters).
  2. any large boa.
  3. Cards. a variety of poker in which each player is dealt seven cards, discards two, and turns up one of the remaining five before each betting round.
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Origin of anaconda

1760–70; misapplication of a name orig. used for a snake of Sri Lanka; earlier anacandaia < Sinhalese henakandayā kind of snake

Anaconda

[an-uh-kon-duh]
noun
  1. a city in SW Montana.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for anaconda

anaconda

noun
  1. a very large nonvenomous arboreal and semiaquatic snake, Eunectes murinus, of tropical South America, which kills its prey by constriction: family Boidae (boas)
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Word Origin for anaconda

C18: probably changed from Sinhalese henakandayā whip snake, from hena lightning + kanda stem; originally referring to a snake of Sri Lanka
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 anaconda

n.

1768, a name first used in English to name a Ceylonese python, it was applied erroneously to a large South American boa, called in Brazil sucuriuba. The word is of uncertain origin, and no snake name like it now is found in Sinhalese or Tamil. One suggestion is that it is a Latinization of Sinhalese henacandaya "whip snake," literally "lightning-stem" [Barnhart]. Another suggestion is that it represents Tamil anaikkonda "having killed an elephant" [OED].

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper