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noun (1)

: aspen


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noun (2)

: a small venomous snake of Egypt usually held to be a cobra (Naja haje)


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Examples of asp in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
The team revealed that the venom of asp caterpillars, also known as puss caterpillars, contains a special protein that can form into a ring shape and poke holes in cells. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 July 2023 The researchers believe the caterpillars’ unique venom-delivery adaptation developed some 400 million years ago, when bacteria transferred the special cell-infiltrating gene into an asp. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 July 2023 Egypt fell to Rome in 30 B.C., after Caesar Augustus (at that time still called Octavian) defeated the forces of Cleopatra and Mark Antony at the Battle of Actium, and the Queen, according to a version given by Plutarch—and then, memorably, by Shakespeare—placed an asp on her breast and died. The New Yorker, 22 Nov. 2021 Cleopatra killed herself — by the bite of an asp, according to Plutarch. Avery Hurt, Discover Magazine, 20 Nov. 2020 When her husband, the Roman general Mark Antony, died in her arms in 30 BCE, Cleopatra took her own life soon after by allowing an asp to bite her by, according to popular belief. Christian Edwards, CNN, 10 Nov. 2022 The supplement’s three most potent ingredients are D-aspartic acid (D-asp), fenugreek, and zinc. Dallas News, 18 May 2022 The couple committed suicide—Antony by stabbing himself in the stomach, and Cleopatra by the bite of an asp (or, alternatively, by some other poison). Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 2 Apr. 2022 Prosecutors say Kramer and others arrived at the establishment looking for a fight, and that Kramer was armed with mace and an asp baton. oregonlive, 4 Aug. 2020 See More

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

Word History


Noun (1)

Middle English, from Old English æspe

Noun (2)

Middle English aspis, from Latin, from Greek

First Known Use

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of asp was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near asp

Cite this Entry

“Asp.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a small poisonous snake of Egypt

Medical Definition


aspartic acid; aspartyl

More from Merriam-Webster on asp

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