Ou·​ro·​bo·​ros ˌyu̇r-ō-ˈbȯr-əs How to pronounce Ouroboros (audio)
variants or ouroboros or less commonly Uroboros or uroboros
: a circular symbol that depicts a snake or dragon devouring its own tail and that is used especially to represent the eternal cycle of destruction and rebirth
usually ouroboros or less commonly uroboros : something (such as a never-ending cycle) that is likened to or suggestive of the Ouroboros symbol
Trauma is a time traveller, an ouroboros that reaches back and devours everything that came before.Junot Díaz
But as Hollywood continues its transformation into a reboot ouroboros of unoriginal ideas, I have a tiny bit of fear that these projects will be disasters.Miles Surrey

Word History


borrowed from Late Greek ourobóros "devouring (its) tail" (modifying drákōn "dragon, snake") from Greek ourá "tail" + -o- + -boros, nominal derivative from the base of bibrṓskein "to eat, eat up, devour" — more at ass entry 2, voracious

First Known Use

1921, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of Ouroboros was in 1921

Dictionary Entries Near Ouroboros

Cite this Entry

“Ouroboros.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Ouroboros. Accessed 22 Mar. 2023.

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