1. a turtlehead plant.
  2. any elongate fish of the family Channidae (or Ophicephalidae), having a large head with a deeply cleft mouth and able to breathe atmospheric oxygen.

Origin of snakehead

An Americanism dating back to 1775–85; snake + head



Origin of snake's-head

First recorded in 1730–40 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for snakehead


  1. a Chinese criminal involved in the illegal transport of Chinese citizens to other parts of the world

Word Origin for snakehead

C20: origin uncertain
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 snakehead

1845 as a type of plant; 1891 as a type of Asian carnivorous fish," from snake (n.) + head (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper