• synonyms


[oh-fid-ee-uh n]
See more synonyms for ophidian on Thesaurus.com
  1. belonging or pertaining to the suborder Ophidia (Serpentes), comprising the snakes.
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  1. a snake.
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Origin of ophidian

1820–30; < New Latin Ophidi(a) (plural) name of the suborder (< Greek ophídion (singular), equivalent to óph(is) serpent + -idion diminutive suffix) + -an
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for ophidian

snake, viper, ophidian, serpentine, reptant, serpentiform, basilisk, dragon

Examples from the Web for ophidian

Historical Examples of ophidian

  • The Ophidian skull is also noticeable for the absence of the jugals and quadratojugals.

    The Vertebrate Skeleton

    Sidney H. Reynolds

  • The Myriapods symbolize in a striking manner the Ophidian reptiles.

  • Most of the Ophidian Reptiles are oviparous, but many are ovo-viviparous.

    Reptiles and Birds

    Louis Figuier

  • A minute before the comparison was ophidian, now it was feline.

    The Tigress

    Anne Warner

  • His thoughts, thus drawn to Shaw, dwelt on that ophidian personality.

    The Girl in the Mirror

    Elizabeth Garver Jordan

British Dictionary definitions for ophidian


  1. snakelike
  2. of, relating to, or belonging to the Ophidia, a suborder of reptiles that comprises the snakes
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  1. any reptile of the suborder Ophidia; a snake
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Word Origin for ophidian

C19: from New Latin Ophidia name of suborder, from Greek ophidion, from ophis snake
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 ophidian


"pertaining to snakes," 1883, from Greek ophidion, diminutive of ophis "serpent" (see ophio-). Hence, ophiolatry "serpent-worship" (1862), and the 2c. sect of the Ophitæ, who revered the serpent as the symbol of divine wisdom.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

ophidian in Science


  1. A member of the suborder Ophidia or Serpentes; a snake.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.