puff adder


: a large thick-bodied extremely venomous African viper (Bitis arietans)

Examples of puff adder in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The one in particular that gave them trouble was the puff adder, which—like southern Pacific rattlesnakes—is an ambush predator. Christie Wilcox, Discover Magazine, 30 Apr. 2018 An ambushing puff adder is both camouflaged and unsmellable to predators. Elizabeth Preston, Discover Magazine, 7 Feb. 2017 An ambusher's arsenal: chemical crypsis in the puff adder (Bitis arietans). Elizabeth Preston, Discover Magazine, 21 Dec. 2015 This kind of behavioral segmentation had never been observed before, which the researchers say is odd given how common the puff adder is throughout Africa and is frequently kept in captivity. Troy Farah, Discover Magazine, 17 Apr. 2019 But only one snake uses both its tail and its tongue to lure prey: the African puff adder. Troy Farah, Discover Magazine, 17 Apr. 2019 The 22-year-old, who owned a venomous puff adder, was treated with anti-venom in Connolly Hospital, the Irish Post reported last month. Fox News, 7 Mar. 2020 This was apparently the case with the man who was bitten in late February by a puff adder, a venomous snake native to semiarid regions (i.e., not Ireland). Gillian Brockell, BostonGlobe.com, 5 Mar. 2020 The researchers captured puff adder shy sharks in a harbor in Cape Town, South Africa, and transported them to a government research aquarium, where the fish acclimated for four months. Rachel Nuwer, Scientific American, 19 Dec. 2019 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'puff adder.' 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

1789, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of puff adder was in 1789

Dictionary Entries Near puff adder

Cite this Entry

“Puff adder.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/puff%20adder. Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

puff adder


Medical Definition

puff adder

: a large thick-bodied exceedingly venomous widely distributed African viper (Bitis arietans) that inflates its body and hisses loudly when disturbed
also : a similar smaller snake (B. inornata) of southern Africa

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