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

Definition of anaconda

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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


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

Definition of Anaconda (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Illustration of anaconda

Illustration of anaconda


In the meaning defined above

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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: Noun On Exile, Brendan and I saw a full contingent of crew members wrestling with an anaconda. Dalton Ross,, "Survivor Quarantine Questionnaire : Stephen Fishbach feels 'shame' about his portrayal on 'Cambodia'," 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, "Houston Zoo set to open new South America’s Pantanal expansion," 16 Sep. 2020 Grandma Betty had a hug that would make an anaconda weep. Sean Keeler, The Denver Post, "Keeler: Brian Mullan, ex-Rapids midfielder, now battling coronavirus on the front lines," 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, "See Squabbling Subway Mice and Other Top Wildlife Photos," 13 Feb. 2020 More than a third of the world’s animal species live there including three-toed sloths, Amazon River dolphins, Amazonian manatees, anacondas, piranhas, and much more. Danielle Pointdujour, Essence, "5 Trips Every Black Woman Should Take For Adventure This Year," 6 Jan. 2020 The table between them was strewn with artifacts and reproductions representing the trade in exotic animal products: an anaconda skin, a turtle shell, a replica elephant tusk and bear foot., "A gorilla ambled up to the thick glass wall of its habitat at Franklin Park Zoo on Saturday afternoon and looked quizzically at the guitarist, violinist, and music stand on the other side.," 6 Oct. 2019 This team is more like an anaconda, brutally effective at close quarters. oregonlive, "Goe: Oregon Ducks use the Mario Cristobal formula to bludgeon Colorado, 45-3," 12 Oct. 2019 At wildlife tourist attractions, animals like sloths and anacondas are often beaten into submission before photos are snapped, and the critters are usually captured as babies and held in inhumane conditions. Rachel Fobar, National Geographic, "Sea turtles, hummingbird charms, and other souvenirs not to buy on vacation," 2 Aug. 2019

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.

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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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Time Traveler for anaconda

Time Traveler

The first known use of anaconda was in 1748

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Statistics for anaconda

Last Updated

30 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Anaconda.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for anaconda



English Language Learners Definition of anaconda

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


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

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