cop·​per·​head | \ ˈkä-pər-ˌhed How to pronounce copperhead (audio) \

Definition of copperhead

1 : a common pit viper (Agkistrodon contortrix) of the eastern and central U.S. usually having a copper-colored head and often a reddish-brown hourglass pattern on the body
2 : a person in the northern states who sympathized with the South during the American Civil War

Illustration of copperhead

Illustration of copperhead

copperhead 1

Examples of copperhead in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But as Mays tells CNN, a two-headed copperhead that was found in Virginia last year only survived for a few weeks in the care of the Wildlife Center of Virginia. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "In Florida, Pet Cat Brings Home a Rare Two-Headed Snake," 27 Oct. 2020 The copperhead is a surprising entrant on this list, given its reputation for many bites and few fatalities. Steven Hill, Field & Stream, "10 of the Most Venomous Snakes in the World," 11 June 2020 And a copperhead that shows up in the first act is going to bite by the third. Amy Rowland, New York Times, "Would You Trust a Snake-Wielding Preacher, if He Were Your Dad?," 12 May 2020 Hardy and his hunting partner identified the snake as a copperhead, which is common in Mississippi. USA TODAY, "Giga roller coaster, ‘granny’ centennial, lion cubs born, Parker the cat passes away: News from around our 50 states," 24 Jan. 2020 Like cottonmouths, copperheads are often misidentified because of their notoriety in U.S. culture. Liz Langley, National Geographic, "Cougar or not? Why we think we see big cats in our backyards.," 18 Nov. 2019 McDaniel says the copperhead became aware of his presence, finished swallowing the cicada and slithered off. Washington Post, "Gulp! Arkansas photographer snaps images of snake eating bug," 26 July 2019 An Arkansas photographer captured a venomous copperhead snake devouring a cicada that had just emerged from its shell at Ozark National Forest earlier this month. Fox News, "Venomous Arkansas snake devours bug in jaw-dropping photos," 29 July 2019 According to Texas Parks & Wildlife, Southern copperheads are the most common variety found in east Texas. Darla Guillen Gilthorpe, Houston Chronicle, "High summer temperatures are luring out more active snakes in Texas," 25 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'copperhead.' 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 copperhead

1775, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for copperhead

Time Traveler

The first known use of copperhead was in 1775

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Cite this Entry

“Copperhead.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for copperhead



English Language Learners Definition of copperhead

: a poisonous reddish-brown snake of the eastern and central U.S.


cop·​per·​head | \ ˈkä-pər-ˌhed How to pronounce copperhead (audio) \

Kids Definition of copperhead

: a poisonous snake of the eastern and central United States with a reddish brown head


cop·​per·​head | \ ˈkäp-ər-ˌhed How to pronounce copperhead (audio) \

Medical Definition of copperhead

1 : a pit viper (Agkistrodon contortrix) widely distributed in upland areas of the eastern and central United States that typically attains a length of three feet (0.9 meter), is coppery brown above with dark transverse blotches, and is capable of inflicting a very painful but rarely fatal bite
2 : a very venomous but sluggish Australian elapid snake of the genus Denisonia (D. superba)

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