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

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 forms

bas·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