pit viper


Definition of pit viper

: any of various mostly New World vipers (subfamily Crotalinae of the family Viperidae) with a sensory pit on each side of the head and hollow perforated retractable fangs

Examples of pit viper in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The other two species, also part of the pit viper family, are the timber rattlesnake and eastern massasauga. Fox News, "Pennsylvania woman bitten by venomous snake while doing laundry," 19 June 2019 Snake-mimic caterpillar The larvae of hawk moths ward off predators by impersonating deadly pit vipers. Liz Langley, National Geographic, "Imitation crab? Meet 6 creatures that steal others’ looks," 7 Aug. 2019 The animals are a type of pit viper, and have small indentations in their head, between their eyes and nostrils, which allow them to sense heat. National Geographic, "Copperheads," 22 July 2019 Alligators, Chinese bamboo pit vipers, tomatillos, frogs with sling shots. James P. Dewan, chicagotribune.com, "4 easy dishes to make with tomatillos, plus a trick for getting those sticky husks off," 17 June 2019 Avoid like a pit viper any mushy ones, and make sure the papery husk looks at least somewhat fresh and greenish, not all brown and wrinkly like my Uncle Sid before the face-lift. James P. Dewan, chicagotribune.com, "4 easy dishes to make with tomatillos, plus a trick for getting those sticky husks off," 17 June 2019 Everybody knows about the fer-de-lance, which is the deadly pit viper. Jerry Beilinson, Popular Mechanics, "Confessions of a Reality-Show Survival Guide," 9 Oct. 2013 Thankfully the United States is home to fewer venomous snake species than other parts of the world, but several native types of pit vipers and coral snakes can deliver dangerous toxic enzymes with a single strike. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "12 Snakebite First Aid Tips You Need to Know This Summer," 8 May 2018 Both are pit vipers and have triangular heads and fangs. Christina Tkacik, baltimoresun.com, "First copperhead snakebite in Maryland this year is reported," 19 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pit viper.' 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 pit viper

1874, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

13 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for pit viper

The first known use of pit viper was in 1874

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More Definitions for pit viper

pit viper


Medical Definition of pit viper

: any of various mostly New World highly specialized venomous snakes (as the rattlesnake, copperhead, water moccasin, and fer-de-lance) that belong to a subfamily (Crotalinae) of the family Viperidae, that have a small depression on each side of the head between the eye and the nostril, and that have hollow perforated fangs usually folded back in the upper part of the mouth but erected in striking

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pit viper

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pit viper

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concealment of treason or felony

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