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rat snake

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noun
  1. any of several New and Old World colubrid snakes, of the genus Elaphe, that feed chiefly on small mammals and birds.
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Origin of rat snake

First recorded in 1855–60
Also called house snake.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for rat snake

Historical Examples

  • One the great serpent would select, would lap in scaly coils, crush to a red pulp and swallow as a rat-snake swallows a mouse.

    The Hour of the Dragon

    Robert E. Howard

  • All the roofs of the thatched bungalows swarm with rats, and in every house is kept a rat-snake, which kills and eats these rats.

    A Voyage in the 'Sunbeam'

    Annie Allnut Brassey

  • There is a belief in Ceylon that the bite of the rat-snake, though harmless to man, is fatal to black cattle.

  • A friend informs us that he once saw in these gardens a rat-snake of Ceylon devour a common Coluber natrix.

  • The presence of a rat-snake (Zamenis mucosus) in a house at night is believed to bring good fortune to the inmates.


British Dictionary definitions for rat snake

rat snake

noun
  1. any of various nonvenomous rodent-eating colubrid snakes, such as Elaphe obsoleta of North America and Ptyas mucosus of Asia
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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