[ vahy-per ]
/ ˈvaɪ pər /


Idioms for viper

    to nourish a viper in one's bosom, to befriend a person who proves to be treacherous.

Origin of viper

1520–30; < Latin vīpera, haplological variant of *vīvipera, noun use of feminine of *vīviper, later (as re-formation) vīviparus viviparous


vi·per·ish, adjectivevi·per·ish·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for viper

British Dictionary definitions for viper

/ (ˈvaɪpə) /


any venomous Old World snake of the family Viperidae, esp any of the genus Vipera (the adder and related forms), having hollow fangs in the upper jaw that are used to inject venom
any of various other snakes, such as the horned viper
a malicious or treacherous person

Derived forms of viper

viper-like, adjective

Word Origin for viper

C16: from Latin vīpera, perhaps from vīvus living + parere to bear, referring to a tradition that the viper was viviparous
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