an·​a·​con·​da | \ ˌa-nə-ˈkän-də How to pronounce anaconda (audio) \

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

Illustration of anaconda

Important Anaconda Facts

There are two species of South American snakes that constrict their prey. The heavily built giant anaconda is usually about 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.

Examples of anaconda in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The scientists still have many questions about why the dolphins held the anaconda. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 12 May 2022 Critics of the stunt argue that a human’s shoulder width is too wide to fit the anaconda’s body, which could cause the animal physical and emotional pain. The Editors, Outside Online, 7 Nov. 2014 That was my first idea, to make J.Lo wet and have a huge anaconda all over my body! Joey Nolfi,, 31 Jan. 2022 The Amazonian anaconda belongs to the boa constrictor family. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, 26 Jan. 2022 On Exile, Brendan and I saw a full contingent of crew members wrestling with an anaconda. Dalton Ross,, 22 Mar. 2021 Its animal residents include the heaviest snake in the world, a massive green anaconda, and a jaguar named Tesoro. Marcy De Luna, Houston Chronicle, 16 Sep. 2020 Grandma Betty had a hug that would make an anaconda weep. Sean Keeler, The Denver Post, 6 May 2020 Another notable entry, Matching Outfits, shows a stunning freeze frame of a female jaguar and her cub with a meal of anaconda suspended between them, a la Lady and the Tramp. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 Feb. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'anaconda.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of anaconda

1748, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for anaconda

probably modification of Sinhalese henakandayā, a slender green snake

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The first known use of anaconda was in 1748

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Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Anaconda.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for anaconda


an·​a·​con·​da | \ ˌa-nə-ˈkän-də How to pronounce anaconda (audio) \

Kids Definition of anaconda

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

Anaconda geographical name

An·​a·​con·​da | \ ˌa-nə-ˈkän-də How to pronounce Anaconda (audio) \

Definition of Anaconda

city in southwestern Montana that grew rapidly following the building of a copper-smelting plant in 1884 and expanded to contain one of the largest nonferrous production plants in the world population 9298


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