[sur-puh nz, -penz]

noun, genitive Ser·pen·tis [ser-pen-tis] /sərˈpɛn tɪs/. Astronomy.

the Serpent, a constellation consisting of two separate parts, the head (Serpens Caput) and the tail (Serpens Cauda), with Ophiuchus in between.

Origin of Serpens

< Latin serpēns serpent, orig. present participle of serpere to creep, crawl; cognate with Greek hérpēs (cf. herpes, herpetology) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for serpens

Historical Examples of serpens

  • The head of Serpens is the star group in the form of an "X" just below the Crown.

    A Field Book of the Stars

    William Tyler Olcott

  • The marginal translation in the English version is ‘crossing like a bar,’ instead of piercing, and the Vulgate has serpens vectis.

    Demonology and Devil-lore

    Moncure Daniel Conway

  • Reference is here made to the beautiful constellation of "Serpens," or Draco, of graceful and striking appearance.

    The Spirit and the Word

    Zachary Taylor Sweeney

  • From here a line of fairly bright stars marks the course of Serpens southward to the hand of Ophiuchus.

    Astronomy for Young Folks

    Isabel Martin Lewis

  • Just south of Serpens and Ophiuchus lies one of the most beautiful and easily recognized constellations in the heavens.

    Astronomy for Young Folks

    Isabel Martin Lewis

British Dictionary definitions for serpens


noun Latin genitive Serpentis (səˈpɛntɪs)

a faint extensive constellation situated in the N and S equatorial regions and divided into two parts, Serpens Caput (the head) lying between Ophiuchus and Boötes and Serpens Cauda (the tail) between Ophiuchus and Aquila

Word Origin for Serpens

Latin: serpent
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