rat·​tle·​snake | \ ˈra-tᵊl-ˌsnāk \

Definition of rattlesnake

: any of several American pit vipers (genera Crotalus and Sistrurus) that have horny interlocking joints at the end of the tail which make a sharp rattling sound when shaken

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Examples of rattlesnake in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Hosey filmed his hair-raising encounter with the rattlesnake, posting the footage on Facebook. Jennifer Earl, Fox News, "'Huge' rattlesnake's loud warning to Mississippi man goes viral," 30 July 2018 That is where the rattlesnakes like to hide during the day, officials said. Mark Price, charlotteobserver, "National Park Service warns tourists of timber rattlesnakes on NC’s Outer Banks," 13 May 2018 There are a lot of misconceptions around how to treat a rattlesnake bite. Henry Robertson, Popular Mechanics, "How to Avoid and Treat Rattlesnake Bites," 9 Nov. 2018 There were potholes and rattlesnakes to mind, as well as irrigation ditches. Ella Riley-adams, Vogue, "I Ditched My Phone for a Montana Cattle Drive (and Finally Dealt With My Feelings)," 3 Oct. 2018 For example, the vaccination schedule for a bird dog in south Texas should include a rattlesnake vaccine, while a dog in the Northeast may place more emphasis on a Lyme vaccination. Shelby Deering, Country Living, "Ask a Country Vet: How Can I Keep My Sporting Dog Healthy and Happy?," 11 Sep. 2018 That business is focused on antidote products; its top-selling product is CroFab, which treats rattlesnake bites. Denise Roland, WSJ, "Boston Scientific Acquires U.K.’s BTG for $4.2 Billion," 20 Nov. 2018 Today, Santa Claus is a ghost town, inhabited by tumbledown buildings and families of rattlesnakes. Ashlea Halpern, Condé Nast Traveler, "Long Live Route 66," 19 July 2018 Godwin was on her way back to her truck when the grey-speckled rattlesnake, without warning or making a sound, bit six-month-old Todd. Nathan J. Fish, azcentral, "'Hero' puppy takes on rattlesnake bite, saving owner, during walk," 2 July 2018

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

1624, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

20 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for rattlesnake

The first known use of rattlesnake was in 1624

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More Definitions for rattlesnake



English Language Learners Definition of rattlesnake

: a poisonous American snake with a group of hard, loose pieces (called scales) at the end of its tail that it shakes to make a noise


rat·​tle·​snake | \ ˈra-tᵊl-ˌsnāk \

Kids Definition of rattlesnake

: a poisonous American snake with a rattle at the end of its tail


rat·​tle·​snake | \ ˈrat-ᵊl-ˌsnāk \

Medical Definition of rattlesnake

: any of the American pit vipers that have a series of horny interlocking joints at the end of the tail which make a sharp rattling sound when vibrated and that comprise the genera Sistrurus and Crotalus — see diamondback rattlesnake, tiger rattlesnake, timber rattlesnake

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More from Merriam-Webster on rattlesnake

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rattlesnake

Spanish Central: Translation of rattlesnake

Nglish: Translation of rattlesnake for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about rattlesnake

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