col·​u·​brine ˈkäl-yə-ˌbrīn How to pronounce colubrine (audio)
: of, relating to, or resembling a snake
: of or relating to colubrids : colubrid

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Snakes and Colubrine

Colubrine may be less common than other animal words—such as canine, feline, and bovine—but it has been around for a good long while. Ultimately derived from the Latin colubra ("snake"), it slithered into the English language in the 16th century. (Cobra, by the way, comes from the same Latin word, but it entered English through Portuguese.) Some other words for "snakelike" are serpentine (a more common alternative) and ophidian (from the Greek word for snake: ophis).

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1528, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of colubrine was circa 1528


Dictionary Entries Near colubrine

Cite this Entry

“Colubrine.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

Medical Definition


col·​u·​brine ˈkäl-(y)ə-ˌbrīn How to pronounce colubrine (audio)
: of or relating to snakes of the family Colubridae : colubrid
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