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serpentine

1
[sur-puhn-teen, -tahyn]
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adjective
  1. of, characteristic of, or resembling a serpent, as in form or movement.
  2. having a winding course, as a road; sinuous.
  3. shrewd, wily, or cunning.
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noun
  1. a device on a harquebus lock for holding the match.
  2. a cannon having any of various bore sizes, used from the 15th to the 17th century.
  3. Skating. a school figure made by skating two figure eights that share one loop.
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verb (used without object), ser·pen·tined, ser·pen·tin·ing.
  1. to make or follow a winding course: The stream serpentines through the valley.
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Origin of serpentine

1
1350–1400; Middle English (adj.) < Latin serpentīnus snakelike, equivalent to serpent- serpent + -īnus ine1

Synonyms for serpentine

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2. twisting, snaking, tortuous.

serpentine

2
[sur-puh n-teen, -tahyn]
noun
  1. a common mineral, hydrous magnesium silicate, H2Mg3Si2O2, usually oily green and sometimes spotted, occurring in many varieties: used for architectural and decorative purposes.
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Origin of serpentine

2
1350–1400; Middle English serpentyn < Medieval Latin serpentīnum, noun use. of neuter of serpentīnus serpentine1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for serpentine

meandering, sinuous, artful, convoluted, curved, circuitous, twisting, cagey, clever, crafty, cunning, foxy, indirect, shrewd, slick, slinky, snaky, subtle, supple, wily

Examples from the Web for serpentine

Contemporary Examples of serpentine

Historical Examples of serpentine


British Dictionary definitions for serpentine

serpentine

1
adjective
  1. of, relating to, or resembling a serpent
  2. twisting; winding
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noun
  1. maths a curve that is symmetric about the origin of and asymptotic to the x -axis
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Word Origin for serpentine

C14: from Late Latin serpentīnus, from serpēns serpent

serpentine

2
noun
  1. a dark green or brown mineral with a greasy or silky lustre, found in igneous and metamorphic rocks. It is used as an ornamental stone; and one variety (chrysotile) is known as asbestos. Composition: hydrated magnesium silicate. Formula: Mg 3 Si 2 O 5 (OH) 4 . Crystal structure: monoclinic
  2. any of a group of minerals having the general formula (Mg,Fe) 3 Si 2 O 5 (OH) 4
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Word Origin for serpentine

C15 serpentyn, from Medieval Latin serpentīnum serpentine 1; referring to the snakelike patterns of these minerals
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 serpentine

n.

c.1400, "plant reputed to contain antivenom," from Old French serpentin name of a precious stone, noun use of adjective meaning "of a snake, snake-like; sly, deceptive," from Late Latin serpentius "of a serpent," from Latin serpentem (nominative serpens) "snake" (see serpent). As the name of a greenish igneous rock consisting mainly of hydrous magnesium silicate, attested from early 15c.

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adj.

"twisting, winding," 1610s; see serpent + -ine (1). An earlier adjective meaning "having the evil qualities of a serpent" is recorded from late 14c., from the French source of serpentine (n.). The winding lake of that name in Hyde Park, London, was constructed in 1730.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

serpentine in Science

serpentine

[sûrpən-tēn′, -tīn′]
  1. Any of a group of greenish, brownish, or yellowish monoclinic minerals, occurring in igneous or metamorphic rocks. They are used as a source of magnesium and asbestos. Chemical formula: (Mg,Fe)3Si2O5(OH)4.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.