col·​u·​brine | \ ˈkäl-yə-ˌbrīn How to pronounce colubrine (audio) , ˈkä-lə- \

Definition of colubrine

1 : of, relating to, or resembling a snake
2 : of or relating to colubrids : colubrid

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).

First Known Use of colubrine

circa 1528, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of colubrine was circa 1528

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Cite this Entry

“Colubrine.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

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col·​u·​brine | \ ˈkäl-(y)ə-ˌbrīn How to pronounce colubrine (audio) \

Medical Definition of colubrine

: of or relating to snakes of the family Colubridae : colubrid

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