noun \ˌa-nə-ˈkän-də\

: a large South American snake that squeezes its victims to death

Full Definition of ANACONDA

:  a large semiaquatic constricting snake (Eunectes murinus) of the boa family of tropical South America that may reach a length of 30 feet (9.1 meters); broadly :  any of the large constricting snakes

Illustration of ANACONDA

Origin of ANACONDA

probably modification of Sinhalese henakandayā, a slender green snake
First Known Use: 1768


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Giant anaconda (Eunectes murinus).—© Z. Leszczynski/Animals Animals

Either of two South American snake species in the genus Eunectes (family Boidae) that constrict their prey. The heavily built giant anaconda, or great water boa, is usually not more than 16 ft (5 m) long but can be longer than 24 ft (7.5 m), rivaling the largest pythons in length. The yellow anaconda is much smaller. Typically dark green with alternating oval black spots, the giant anaconda lives along tropical rivers east of the Andes and in Trinidad. It kills at night by lying in wait in water; it constricts prey as large as young pigs or caimans and occasionally forages in trees for birds. It may bear 75 live young at a time.


Next Word in the Dictionary: anacreontic
Previous Word in the Dictionary: anacoluthon
All Words Near: anaconda

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up anaconda? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).