basilisk

[ bas-uh-lisk, baz- ]
/ ˈbæs ə lɪsk, ˈbæz- /

noun

Classical Mythology. a creature, variously described as a serpent, lizard, or dragon, said to kill by its breath or look.
any of several tropical American iguanid lizards of the genus Basiliscus, noted for their ability to run across the surface of water on their hind legs.

RELATED WORDS


Nearby words

  1. basilic,
  2. basilic vein,
  3. basilica,
  4. basilican,
  5. basilicata,
  6. basilius,
  7. basin,
  8. basin range,
  9. basinet,
  10. basing point

Origin of basilisk

1250–1300; Middle English < Latin basiliscus < Greek basilískos princeling, basilisk, equivalent to basil(eús) king + -iskos diminutive suffix; allegedly so named from a crownlike white spot on its head

Related formsbas·i·lis·cine [bas-uh-lis-in, -ahyn, baz-] /ˌbæs əˈlɪs ɪn, -aɪn, ˌbæz-/, bas·i·lis·can, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for basilisk


British Dictionary definitions for basilisk

basilisk

/ (ˈbæzɪˌlɪsk) /

noun

(in classical legend) a serpent that could kill by its breath or glance
any small arboreal semiaquatic lizard of the genus Basiliscus of tropical America: family Iguanidae (iguanas). The males have an inflatable head crest, used in display
a 16th-century medium cannon, usually made of brass

Word Origin for basilisk

C14: from Latin basiliscus, from Greek basiliskos royal child, from basileus king

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 basilisk

basilisk

n.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper