rat snake

plural rat snakes

Definition of rat snake

: any of various large, nonvenomous, colubrid snakes (as of the genera Elaphe, Pantherophis, Coelognatuhus) that feed chiefly on rodents (such as mice and rats) and birds — see black rat snake, eastern rat snake, red rat snake, western rat snake

called also chicken snake

Examples of rat snake in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Commenters on the article identified it as a rat snake. Fox News, "Snake photo bombs Alabama seventh-grader's picture," 12 Aug. 2019 The homeowners believe that their temporary residential guest was a rat snake. Peter Dawson, Houston Chronicle, "Watch large snake slither around the front door of a Houston-area home," 25 July 2019 In the winter, the animals will den underground, commonly returning to the same spot year after year, and often commune there with other snake species, such as rat snakes and rattlesnakes. National Geographic, "Copperheads," 22 July 2019 The Western rat snake is pretty common in this area, Janusz said. Melinda Morris, NOLA.com, "Slidell woman raising 2-headed snake, named File and Gumbo," 6 June 2018 Watch how to tell the difference between a deadly cottonmouth snake and a nonvenomous rat snake in this video. Joe Marusak, charlotteobserver, "Snake was shading under a car at Walmart. Then these 2 brought lighter fluid, police say," 15 June 2018 The wardens assisted in untangling a six foot rat snake, which had wrapped itself around the engine parts. Community Report, Houston Chronicle, "Game warden field notes," 25 May 2018 The Texas rat snake is a non-venomous reptile that's commonly found in North Texas. Jennifer Earl, Fox News, "Texas man shocked as 7-foot snake wrapped around front door grille moves in for a 'closer look'," 25 May 2018 Officials here are now required to prove that certain animals to be sold abroad, including Oriental rat snakes and Timor monitors, are genuinely captive-bred. Rachel Nuwer, New York Times, "That Python in the Pet Store? It May Have Been Snatched From the Wild," 9 Apr. 2018

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

1818, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of rat snake was in 1818

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Cite this Entry

“Rat snake.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rat%20snake. Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on rat snake

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rat snake

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rat snake

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about rat snake

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