basilisk was our Word of the Day on 02/26/2009. Hear the podcast!
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Recent Examples of basilisk from the Web
In the original books, Harry's missions were always 100% necessary (ex: Saving the Sorcerer's Stone from Voldemort, saving Ginny Weasley from the basilisk, saving Sirius from Voldemort, hunting down Horcruxes).
In some stories, the crowing of a rooster is fatal to the mythological snake known as a basilisk.
What’s more, early legends of the basilisk may have been inspired by cobras.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'basilisk.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of basilisk
Did You Know?
In Hellenic and Roman legend, a basilisk (also called a cockatrice) was a serpent-like creature capable of destroying other creatures by way of its deadly stare. The modern basilisk is a lizard that belongs to the family Iguanidae and supposedly resembles this fabled monster; it has a large, inflatable crest atop its head and is sometimes called a "Jesus Christ lizard" for its ability to run quickly across the surface of water. The use of "basilisk" as an adjective occurs most frequently in phrases such as "basilisk stare"; recalling the notorious gaze of the legendary basilisk, it describes the deep and piercing look of someone who is frightening or seductive.
BASILISK Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of basilisk for English Language Learners
in stories and legends : a reptile that can kill people by breathing on them or looking at them
Seen and Heard
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