milk snake


: a common, harmless king snake (Lampropeltis triangulum) chiefly of North and Central America that is either ringed with bands of black, red, and yellow or white or is gray or tan with brown, black-bordered blotches and a Y- or V-shaped marking on the back of the neck
… the remarkable similarity between the venomous coral snake and the harmless milk snake, which mimics the coral snake's colors to protect itself. The tricky difference between the two brightly color-banded snakes is summarized by the saying: "Red on yellow, kill a fellow; red on black, friend of Jack."Robert Hughes

Examples of milk snake in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Guatemalan milk snake had much smaller hemiclitores, measuring 0.1 inches long and 0.06 inches wide, per the Times. Margaret Osborne, Smithsonian Magazine, 14 Dec. 2022 The good-guy snakes include but aren’t limited to the eastern hognose snake, Texas brown snake, Texas rat snake, rough green snake, garter snake, milk snake, bullsnake, kingsnake, indigo snake, black racer, water snake, blind snake and coachwhip. Howard Garrett, Dallas News, 8 June 2020 Cheddar Meet Cheddar, a 12-year-old Honduran milk snake., 3 Dec. 2019 Fortunately, milk snakes are not poisonous, and typically spend much of their time beneath the ground, according to the Virginia Herpetological Society. Jason Duaine Hahn,, 19 June 2019 The couple managed to capture the snake and place it in a trash bag, transfer the reptile to a container, and bring it to an expert, who recognized the animal as a female milk snake. Jason Duaine Hahn,, 19 June 2019 There are beavers, muskrats and brown bats, along with snapping turtles and Easter milk snakes. Rich Heileman,, 14 June 2019 It is made by milking snakes for venom and injecting a small amount of it into a domestic animal like a sheep or a horse over several weeks which allows the animal to build antibodies which are filtered and concentrated to become antivenin. Henry Robertson, Popular Mechanics, 9 Nov. 2018 Species that tested positive for the disease included the northern water snake, racer, milk snake and queen snake. Justin L. MacK, Indianapolis Star, 17 May 2018 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1800, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of milk snake was in 1800

Dictionary Entries Near milk snake

Cite this Entry

“Milk snake.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition

milk snake

: a common harmless gray or tan snake with black-bordered brown blotches and an arrow-shaped spot on the head
also : king snake

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