• synonyms


  1. a former silver coin of Turkey and Egypt: later a money of account equal to 1/120 of a piaster.
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Origin of asper1

1580–90; < Italian aspero < Medieval Greek áspron literally, white coin, noun use of neuter of áspros white


adjective Obsolete.
  1. harsh; rough.
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Origin of asper2

1325–75; < Latin: rough; replacing Middle English aspre < Middle French


noun, adjective
  1. aspen.
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Origin of asp2

before 900; Middle English aspe, apse, Old English æsp(e), æps(e); cognate with Middle Low German aspe, Old High German aspa (German Espe, with altered vowel < Old High German adj. espîn), Old Norse ǫsp; akin to Latvian apse, Russian osína, Czech osika < North European Indo-European *aps-. See aspen
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for asper

Historical Examples

  • Bromus asper, Brachypodium sylvaticum and Lagurus also come here.


    H. Marshall Ward

  • There it lay in a bend of the Asper in the low-lands, and every town where men lived was an enemy.

  • Ride south till you get in the hills on a bee-line east of where Tucker Creek runs into the old Asper.

  • The chairs and carpets are covered, but the corners are turned up that Asper may admire their beauty and texture.

  • Thus the usual Telugu marriage post, but made of Streblus asper wood, is set up, and nine kinds of grain are placed near it.

British Dictionary definitions for asper


  1. a former Turkish monetary unit, a silver coin, worth 1/120 of a piastre
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Word Origin

from Turkish, ultimately from Latin: rough, harsh


  1. the venomous snake, probably Naja haje (Egyptian cobra), that caused the death of Cleopatra and was formerly used by the Pharaohs as a symbol of their power over life and deathSee also uraeus
  2. Also called: asp viper a viper, Vipera aspis, that occurs in S Europe and is very similar to but smaller than the adder
  3. horned asp another name for horned viper
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Word Origin

C15: from Latin aspis, from Greek


  1. an archaic name for the aspen
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Word Origin

Old English æspe; related to Old Norse ösp, Old High German aspa
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 asper



poisonous snake, 1520s, earlier aspis (mid-14c.), from Old French aspe (13c.) or directly from Latin aspidem (nominative aspis), from Greek aspis "shield;" the serpent so called probably in reference to its neck hood.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

asper in Medicine


  1. aspartic acid
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.