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

Examples of anaconda in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Think of the legal justice system like an anaconda. Taylor Wilson, USA TODAY, 25 Aug. 2023 Not just Burmese pythons in Florida:Green anacondas may be breeding in state Where do hammerhead worms come from? Emily Deletter, USA TODAY, 26 July 2023 For the past 50 years, the baby-boomer generation, born between 1946 and 1964, have worked through the American labor force like a big meal inside an anaconda. Kevin Schaul, Washington Post, 30 June 2023 Her initial aggressiveness has all the subtlety of an anaconda strangling a foal, and this allows for some formidable hilarity with Feldman’s sheltered rich kid. Nicholas Bell, SPIN, 21 June 2023 That’s the case for anacondas, for instance, who are native to warm, tropical climates. Sofia Quaglia, Discover Magazine, 24 Feb. 2023 The stretch of the jungle they were found in is one of the most remote and inhospitable in Colombia, where wild animals like jaguars, anacondas or poisonous bugs abound, rains can pour for over 15 hours a day and visibility is sometimes limited to 10 meters due to the thick vegetation. Caitlin Hu, CNN, 18 June 2023 There are the inherent dangers of the jungle, from limited to no access to cell or internet services, to natural predators like anacondas and venomous spiders. Erika Page, The Christian Science Monitor, 5 June 2023 When the sun goes down, we were told, the Brazilian wandering spiders, bullet ants, poison dart frogs, snakes, giant centipedes, jaguars, anacondas and black caimans come out. Virginia Hammerle, Dallas News, 23 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'anaconda.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


probably modification of Sinhalese henakandayā, a slender green snake

First Known Use

1748, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of anaconda was in 1748

Dictionary Entries Near anaconda

Cite this Entry

“Anaconda.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


an·​a·​con·​da ˌan-ə-ˈkän-də How to pronounce anaconda (audio)
: a large South American snake that crushes its prey in its coils
also : any large snake that crushes its prey like an anaconda

Geographical Definition


geographical name

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