fer-de-lance

noun

ˈfer-də-ˈlan(t)s How to pronounce fer-de-lance (audio)
-ˈlän(t)s
plural fer-de-lance
: a large extremely venomous pit viper (Bothrops atrox) of Central and South America

Illustration of fer-de-lance

Illustration of fer-de-lance

Examples of fer-de-lance in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Because fer-de-lance snakes have slightly different venom in different areas, for instance, the researchers mix in venom taken from snakes on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the country before injecting it in the horses. Joshua Rapp Learn, Discover Magazine, 13 June 2023 While Costa Rica has about 600 fer-de-lance viper bites every year, for example, only about three to five bites come from coral snakes. Joshua Rapp Learn, Discover Magazine, 13 June 2023

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

Word History

Etymology

French, literally, lance iron, spearhead

First Known Use

1880, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of fer-de-lance was in 1880

Dictionary Entries Near fer-de-lance

Cite this Entry

“Fer-de-lance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fer-de-lance. Accessed 23 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

fer-de-lance

noun
ˌferd-ᵊl-ˈan(t)s,
-ˈän(t)s
plural fer-de-lance
: a large extremely poisonous pit viper of Central and South America
Etymology

from French fer-de-lance, literally, "iron (point) of a lance"

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