- any of numerous limbless, scaly, elongate reptiles of the suborder Serpentes, comprising venomous and nonvenomous species inhabiting tropical and temperate areas.
- a treacherous person; an insidious enemy.Compare snake in the grass.
- Building Trades.
- Also called auger, plumber's snake.(in plumbing) a device for dislodging obstructions in curved pipes, having a head fed into the pipe at the end of a flexible metal band.
- Also called wirepuller.a length of resilient steel wire, for threading through an electrical conduit so that wire can be pulled through after it.
- to move, twist, or wind: The road snakes among the mountains.
- to wind or make (one's course, way, etc.) in the manner of a snake: to snake one's way through a crowd.
- to drag or haul, especially by a chain or rope, as a log.
Origin of snake
Examples from the Web for snaking
The frozen Yukon River, snaking its way to the Bering Sea, was visible from my window on the Cessna.Visiting the Arctic Circle…Before It’s Irreversibly Changed
Terry Greene Sterling
April 1, 2014
The line grew quickly and into the hundreds of people, snaking through the narrow hallways and out to Hiawassee Road.Chaos Reigns at Florida Polls on Election Day
November 6, 2012
They confirmed the discoveries by snaking listening devices and search cameras through tiny breaches in the concrete.What Haiti Can Teach Chile
March 1, 2010
The snaking track might take up acres and acres of rich land.In the Tail of the Peacock
Leaping on the old man he took him by the shoulders, snaking him.The Dust Flower
Snaking over that fall was a thing to put a crimp in anybody.The Mascot of Sweet Briar Gulch
Henry Wallace Phillips
Saw the world while snaking on my belly through the South Pacific.The Golden Skull
The long, snaking hose filled and plumped out with snappings.The Skipper and the Skipped
- any reptile of the suborder Ophidia (or Serpentes), typically having a scaly cylindrical limbless body, fused eyelids, and a jaw modified for swallowing large prey: includes venomous forms such as cobras and rattlesnakes, large nonvenomous constrictors (boas and pythons), and small harmless types such as the grass snakeRelated adjectives: colubrine, ophidian
- Also called: snake in the grass a deceitful or treacherous person
- anything resembling a snake in appearance or action
- (in the European Union) a former system of managing a group of currencies by allowing the exchange rate of each of them only to fluctuate within narrow limits
- a tool in the form of a long flexible wire for unblocking drains
- (intr) to glide or move like a snake
- (tr) US to haul (a heavy object, esp a log) by fastening a rope around one end of it
- (tr) US (often foll by out) to pull jerkily
- (tr) to move in or follow (a sinuous course)
Word Origin and History for snaking
Old English snaca, from Proto-Germanic *snakon (cf. Old Norse snakr "snake," Swedish snok, German Schnake "ring snake"), from PIE root *sneg- "to crawl, creeping thing" (cf. Old Irish snaighim "to creep," Lithuanian snake "snail," Old High German snahhan "to creep"). In Modern English, gradually replacing serpent in popular use.
Traditionally applied to the British serpent, as distinguished from the poisonous adder. Meaning "treacherous person" first recorded 1580s (cf. Old Church Slavonic gadu "reptile," gadinu "foul, hateful"). Applied from 17c. to various snake-like devices and appliances. Snakes! as an exclamation is from 1839.
Snake eyes in crap-shooting sense is from 1919. Snake oil is from 1927. Snake-bitten "unlucky" is sports slang from 1957, from a literal sense, perhaps suggesting one doomed by being poisoned. The game of Snakes and Ladders is attested from 1907. Snake charmer is from 1813. Snake pit is from 1883, as a supposed primitive test of truth or courage; figurative sense is from 1941. Phrase snake in the grass is from Virgil's Latet anguis in herba [Ecl. III:93].
1650s, "to twist or wind (hair) into the form of a snake," from snake (n.). The intransitive sense of "to move like a snake" is attested from 1848; that of "to wind or twist like a snake" (of roads, etc.) is from 1875. Related: Snaked; snaking.