• synonyms


noun, plural ce·ras·tes.
  1. any of several small vipers of the genus Cerastes, including the horned viper, that have a sideways looping motion like that of a sidewinder and inhabit deserts of northern Africa and southwestern Asia.
Show More

Origin of cerastes

1768; < New Latin < Greek kerástēs literally, something horned, equivalent to kerat- stem of kéras horn + -tēs noun suffix; earlier in sense “asp,” Middle English < Medieval Latin, Latin, as above
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cerastes

Historical Examples of cerastes

  • Now neither the Cobra nor the Cerastes is actually a water serpent.

    The Evolution of the Dragon

    G. Elliot Smith

  • The name Cerastes, or horned, has been given to it on account of these projections.

    Bible Animals;

    J. G. Wood

  • America is the country of the rattlesnake; Africa, of the cerastes; and Asia, of the hooded snake, or cobra di capello.

  • The cerastes is of a very pale brown color, and is spotted with large, unequal, and irregularly-placed spots.

  • In the two species of Cerastes, or Horned Viper, the eyebrows of the male bear commonly a sort of horn.

    Reptiles and Birds

    Louis Figuier

British Dictionary definitions for cerastes


noun plural -tes
  1. any venomous snake of the genus Cerastes, esp the horned viper
Show More

Word Origin for cerastes

C16: from Latin: horned serpent, from Greek kerastēs horned, from keras horn
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