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 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 The green anaconda is nonvenomous but may bite if frightened, the SPCA warned on Facebook. Fox News, "New York man finds missing anaconda in van dashboard," 18 July 2019 Our commissioners just took a really strong stance on the yellow anaconda. David Fleshler,, "State claims progress in python fight, but still allows trade in other exotic animals," 18 July 2019 Tell you what: Turns out I get eaten by that anaconda, there’s a ten-dollar bill in an envelope with your name on it. Sloane Crosley, The Cut, "The Doctor Is a Woman," 26 Mar. 2018 One of the organization’s ongoing projects involves checking anacondas to determine if there is a correlation between gold mining in the region and mercury accumulation in apex predators. Brent Crane, Outside Online, "Looking for a Novel Vacation? Discover a New Species," 24 May 2018

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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The first known use of anaconda was in 1748

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Cite this Entry

“Anaconda.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for anaconda


How to pronounce Anaconda (audio)

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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