king cobra

noun

Definition of king cobra 

: a large cobra (Ophiophagus hannah synonym Naja hannah) of southeastern Asia and the Philippines that may attain a length of 18 feet (5.5 meters)

Illustration of king cobra

Illustration of king cobra

Examples of king cobra in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Can Gio, a mangrove forest near Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, is also a UNESCO biosphere reserve, home to king cobras, saltwater crocodiles, fishing cats—and until recently, a monkey circus. National Geographic, "UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Drops Monkey Circus," 21 June 2018 If the bad boys of Southern California karate are slithering back into the spotlight with YouTube Red's Cobra Kai (streaming now), of course the king Cobra can’t be too far behind. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "Surprise! Martin Kove's villainous 'Karate Kid' sensei returns to the 'Cobra Kai' dojo," 3 May 2018 At some point during this incredibly dangerous fight, the python was bitten by the ultra-venomous king cobra. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "A king cobra and python killed each other in a horrifying snake battle," 4 Feb. 2018 Unlike vipers, these snakes—which range in size from about 2 feet to the 19-foot-long king cobra of Asia—have long, muscular bodies that propel them rapidly and a lethally erect fang on their upper jaws. Eli Greenbaum, Smithsonian, "When Science Means Getting Cobra Venom Spat Into Your Eye," 19 Dec. 2017 The snake in the video above is likely a king cobra, a species which lives mainly in the rain forests and plains of India, southern China, and Southeast Asia. National Geographic, "See How This Rooster Fought Off a Cobra," 30 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'king cobra.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of king cobra

1887, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about king cobra

Share king cobra

Statistics for king cobra

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for king cobra

The first known use of king cobra was in 1887

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for king cobra

king cobra

noun
king co·bra | \ ˈkiŋ-ˈkō-brə \

Medical Definition of king cobra 

: a large and very venomous cobra of the genus Ophiophagus (O. hannah synonym Naja hannah) of southeastern Asia and the Philippines that may attain a length of 18 feet (5.5 meters)

called also hamadryad

More from Merriam-Webster on king cobra

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about king cobra

Comments on king cobra

What made you want to look up king cobra? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to make amends

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!