: the bite of a snake; also: the condition resulting from the bite of a venomous snake and characterized by variable symptoms (as pain and swelling at the puncture site, blurred vision, difficulty in breathing, or internal bleeding)
Wound from the bite of a snake, especially a venomous one. Nonvenomous snakes leave skin tears that may be treated like scratches. A person bitten by a venomous snake needs medical care as soon as possible. Antivenin must be specific to the type of venom, so the snake should be identified or accurately described. Different kinds of venom break down red blood cells or attack the nervous system, causing paralysis. Local tissue destruction may lead to gangrene. First aid for snakebite seeks to keep the venom from spreading to the rest of the body. The bitten limb should be kept still below heart level with a broad, firm (not tight) bandage around it above the bite. Exertion and excitement should be avoided. Cutting, suction, tourniquets, and applying ice are not advised.