puff adder


Definition of puff adder

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

Examples of puff adder in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web 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, "Ireland records first-ever venomous snakebite," 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, "Ireland reports the first venomous snake bite in its history, right before St. Patrick’s Day," 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, "Ocean Acidification Could Eat Away at Sharks’ Teeth and Scales," 19 Dec. 2019 So Glaudas and Alexander captured 86 puff adders, implanted tiny radio transmitters into their bodies, and tracked their movements inside Dinokeng Game Reserve. Carrie Arnold, National Geographic, "Deadly Snake Wags Tongue to Lure Its Prey—A First," 3 Feb. 2017 Take the South African puff adder Bitis arietans, which mimics an insect's movements by wagging its tongue slowly and deliberately to attract nearby amphibians. National Geographic, "How Snakes, Spiders, and Other Predators Fool Their Prey," 16 Feb. 2017 On the film, a puff adder (Bitis arietans) had extended its tongue, leaving the tip curled up—unlike the usual flicking in and out to sense its surroundings. Carrie Arnold, National Geographic, "Deadly Snake Wags Tongue to Lure Its Prey—A First," 3 Feb. 2017

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

1789, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of puff adder was in 1789

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Cite this Entry

“Puff adder.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/puff%20adder. Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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puff adder


Medical Definition of 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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