[oh-fid-ee-uh n]


belonging or pertaining to the suborder Ophidia (Serpentes), comprising the snakes.


a snake.

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. 2019

Related Words for ophidian

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

Examples from the Web for ophidian

Historical Examples of ophidian

British Dictionary definitions for ophidian



of, relating to, or belonging to the Ophidia, a suborder of reptiles that comprises the snakes


any reptile of the suborder Ophidia; a snake

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

ophidian in Science



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