[ sahyd-wahyn-der ]

  1. a severe swinging blow from the side.

  2. a rattlesnake, Crotalus cerastes, of southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico, that has a hornlike projection over each eye and that moves in loose sand by raising loops on the body and displacing them sideways.

  1. any Old World snake that moves by sidewinding, as various species of Bitis and Cerastes.

  2. (initial capital letter) an air-to-air, supersonic weapon that intercepts and destroys enemy aircraft using an infrared homing-guidance system.

Origin of sidewinder

First recorded in 1830–40; side1 + winder

Words Nearby sidewinder Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use sidewinder in a sentence

  • Once a sidewinder, almost invisible against the sand, looped away from the intruders with smooth deliberation.

    Two Thousand Miles Below | Charles Willard Diffin

British Dictionary definitions for sidewinder


/ (ˈsaɪdˌwaɪndə) /

  1. a North American rattlesnake, Crotalus cerastes, that moves forwards by a sideways looping motion

  2. boxing, US a heavy swinging blow from the side

  1. a US air-to-air missile using infrared homing aids in seeking its target

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