• synonyms


[pahy-thon, -thuh n]
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  1. any of several Old World boa constrictors of the subfamily Pythoninae, often growing to a length of more than 20 feet (6 meters): the Indian python, Python molurus, is endangered.
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Origin of python1

1580–90; < New Latin; special use of Python1


[pahy-thon, -thuh n]
  1. a spirit or demon.
  2. a person who is possessed by a spirit and prophesies by its aid.
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Origin of python2

1595–1605; < Late Greek pȳ́thōn; relation to Python1 unclear


[pahy-thon, -thuh n]
noun Classical Mythology.
  1. a large dragon who guarded the chasm at Delphi from which prophetic vapors emerged. He was finally killed by Apollo, who established his oracle on the site.
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Origin of Python1

1390–1400; Middle English, from Latin Pȳthōn, from Greek Pȳ́thōn


Digital Technology, Trademark.
  1. an open-source, high-level programming language known for its readability and support for multiple programming styles, and, due to its many libraries, a large range of applications.
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Origin of Python2

coined in 1989 by Python's creator Guido van Rossum after the comedy troupe Monty Python
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for pythons


  1. any large nonvenomous snake of the family Pythonidae of Africa, S Asia, and Australia, such as Python reticulatus (reticulated python). They can reach a length of more than 20 feet and kill their prey by constriction
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Derived Formspythonic (paɪˈθɒnɪk), adjective

Word Origin

C16: New Latin, after Python


  1. Greek myth a dragon, killed by Apollo at Delphi
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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 pythons



1580s, fabled serpent, slain by Apollo near Delphi, from Latin Python, from Greek Python "serpent slain by Apollo," probably related to Pytho, the old name of Delphi, perhaps itself related to pythein "to rot," or from PIE *dhubh-(o)n-, from *dheub- "hollow, deep, bottom, depths," and used in reference to the monsters who inhabit them. Zoological application to large non-venomous snakes of the tropics is from 1836, originally in French.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper