any of numerous harmless snakes of the genus Thamnophis, common in North and Central America, ranging in size from 14 to 30 inches (36 to 76 cm) and typically having three longitudinal stripes on the back.
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Origin of garter snake
An Americanism dating back to 1760–70
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for garter snake
Did you ever see a lot of boys going home from school, when a garter-snake, or any other harmless serpent, crosses their path?Phemie Frost's Experiences|Ann S. Stephens
He don't never go to school hardly 'thout a garter-snake or two or a lizard or a toad-frog somewheres about him.Sonny, A Christmas Guest|Ruth McEnery Stuart
British Dictionary definitions for garter snake
any nonvenomous North American colubrid snake of the genus Thamnophis, typically marked with longitudinal stripes
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