gray rat snake


plural gray rat snakes
: a large, heavy-bodied, nonvenomous rat snake (Pantherophis spiloides synonym Elaphe spiloides) of the eastern and central U.S. that is gray with brown to dark gray blotches on the back

Note: In an alternative classification system, the gray rat snake is not considered a separate species but rather included within other subspecies (Pantherophis obsoletus obsoletus and P. obsoletus spiloides) of a common rat snake.

compare eastern rat snake, western rat snake

Word History

First Known Use

1914, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of gray rat snake was in 1914

Dictionary Entries Near gray rat snake

Cite this Entry

“Gray rat snake.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Sep. 2023.

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