king cobra


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 The preserve’s vast swathes of evergreen forest host a massive array of native Indian animals, with roughly 265 different bird species and 45 different varieties of reptile—including the notorious king cobra—found within the park. Jared Ranahan, Forbes, "India's Top National Parks For Wildlife Tourism," 28 Apr. 2021 One day, the guards caught a king cobra that slithered dangerously close and cooked the snake for dinner. Saudamini Jain, CNN, "Indian sailors are being caught in a piracy boom off West Africa. One captain held hostage shares his story," 20 Mar. 2021 For comparison, the prairie rattlesnake has 92 and the king cobra has 232. Kate Baggaley, Popular Science, "Rattlesnake venom is lethal, but understanding it could save lives," 25 Jan. 2021 Kylie Jenner dressed up as a king cobra snake and did so by slithering into a bodycon Mugler look. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Celebrities Didn’t Hold Back on Halloween Costumes This Year," 1 Nov. 2020 The bite of a king cobra, for instance, can kill an elephant. Steven Hill, Field & Stream, "10 of the Most Venomous Snakes in the World," 11 June 2020 Cobra Gold is also well known as an important jungle warfare training exercise, where U.S. soldiers typically have the opportunity to indulge in unique opportunities, including famously drinking king cobra snake blood as part of survival training. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Pentagon Is Canceling Military Exercises Because of Coronavirus," 3 Mar. 2020 During his visit to the shrine, he is nearly bitten by a king cobra. Abhrajyoti Chakraborty, The New Republic, "The Disaster Novelist," 8 Oct. 2019 Though species like the boomslang or the king cobra are dangerous thanks to their respective poisons, the black mamba is especially deadly due to its speed. Daniel Jameson, Condé Nast Traveler, "The 10 Most Dangerous Animals in the World—And Where to Find Them," 19 Sep. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of king cobra

1887, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for king cobra

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The first known use of king cobra was in 1887

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Last Updated

5 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“King cobra.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for king cobra

king cobra

king co·​bra | \ ˈkiŋ-ˈkō-brə How to pronounce king cobra (audio) \

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

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