python

noun

py·​thon ˈpī-ˌthän How to pronounce python (audio)
-thən
: any of various large constricting snakes
especially : any of the large oviparous snakes (subfamily Pythoninae of the family Boidae) of Africa, Asia, Australia, and adjacent islands that include some of the largest existing snakes

Illustration of python

Illustration of python

Examples of python in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In Florida, Burmese pythons typically range from six to nine feet long, according to the state's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, though a python that was over 18 feet long was once discovered. Kerry Breen, CBS News, 15 Feb. 2024 Senanayake said the patient lived near a lake that was also home to carpet pythons. Mithil Aggarwal, NBC News, 29 Aug. 2023 The scientist identified it as O. robertsi, a long, skinny roundworm with a reddish color that usually infects carpet pythons. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 29 Aug. 2023 Are Ball Python's Venomous? Ball pythons are non-venomous. Elizabeth Gamillo, Discover Magazine, 30 Nov. 2023 This comes after wildlife protection officers were warned of his unsanctioned public appearances with the python, BBC News reported. Escher Walcott, Peoplemag, 19 Sep. 2023 The giant snake was identified by experts as a carpet python, according to numerous Australian news outlets. Warren Kulo | Wkulo@al.com, al, 30 Aug. 2023 This type of worm is usually found in carpet pythons, which happened to live near the lake area of the patient’s home. Charisma Madarang, Rolling Stone, 29 Aug. 2023 Green anacondas average around 15 feet in length; reticulated pythons, meanwhile, have been known to regularly stretch beyond 20 feet, according to the Natural History Museum in London. Max Bennett, Discover Magazine, 16 Jan. 2024 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Latin, monstrous serpent killed by Apollo, from Greek Pythōn, from Pythō Delphi

First Known Use

circa 1825, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of python was circa 1825

Dictionary Entries Near python

Cite this Entry

“Python.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/python. Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

python

noun
py·​thon ˈpī-ˌthän How to pronounce python (audio)
-thən
: any of various large nonpoisonous snakes especially of Africa, Asia, and Australia that squeeze and suffocate their prey and include some of the largest snakes living at the present time
Etymology

named for Python, a monstrous serpent in Greek Legend

Word Origin
Python in Greek legend, was the name of a monstrous serpent that lived in the caves of Mt. Parnassus near the town of Delphi. This serpent attacked the mother of the god Apollo. Zeus, fortunately, came to her aid and removed her to a place of safety. Later, Apollo sought revenge for the attack. With bow and arrow he hunted the dreaded Python. After struggling with and finally slaying the serpent, Apollo buried it in the temple at Delphi. To celebrate this victory a festival of games was held, including athletic and musical contests and a dramatic performance of Apollo's slaying of Python. These games continued to be held every four years until the 4th century a.d. They were called the Pythian games and ranked second to the Olympic games in popularity. Its was not until the 19th century that the word python was used for a large snake that crushes its prey.

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