ser·​pent | \ ˈsər-pənt How to pronounce serpent (audio) \

Definition of serpent

1a archaic : a noxious creature that creeps, hisses, or stings
b : snake
3 : a treacherous person

Synonyms for serpent


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Examples of serpent in a Sentence

an Aztec carving of a feathered serpent representing the god Quetzalcoatl beware the temptations of the serpent
Recent Examples on the Web In just moments, the focus of the investigation changed for Colbert from a cold-blooded serpent to a human who killed in cold blood. Chris O'connell, CBS News, 11 Mar. 2022 Closer inspection revealed the gray and black serpent was actually made of rubber, investigators say. al, 19 May 2022 Well, maybe the blue-and-white Water Snake necklace, a serpent that wraps the neck with five cabochon Ceylon sapphires, a 4.49 carat diamond, and a plethora of other diamonds and lapis lazuli. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, 21 June 2022 Human and animal merge in a fanged basket-carrier encircled by a serpent, edging the representation of animal anatomy into something larger than itself. Los Angeles Times, 6 June 2022 After fishermen claim they were attacked by the serpent, Cora becomes more determined to understand what’s in the water. Rodney Ho, ajc, 15 May 2022 In fact, the only true local who gets much color at all is Mary (Lily-Rose Aslandogdu, excellent), a young girl whose older sister seemingly got taken by the serpent and is now convinced it’s coming for her next. Caroline Framke, Variety, 12 May 2022 It is topped with ancient mythological figures, including the sarimanok, a bird that guides the harvest seasons, and the naga, a serpent-like dragon associated with lunar and solar eclipses. Alex Wigglesworth, Los Angeles Times, 7 May 2022 The Essex Serpent follows two people — widow Cora Seaborne (Claire Danes) and clergy member William Ransome (Tom Hiddleston) — as their lives change with the presence of a mystical serpent. Kelly Wynne,, 26 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'serpent.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of serpent

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for serpent

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin serpent-, serpens, from present participle of serpere to creep; akin to Greek herpein to creep, Sanskrit sarpati he creeps

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Time Traveler for serpent

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The first known use of serpent was in the 13th century

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Dictionary Entries Near serpent



Serpent's Mouth

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Last Updated

29 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Serpent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for serpent


ser·​pent | \ ˈsər-pənt How to pronounce serpent (audio) \

Kids Definition of serpent

: a usually large snake

More from Merriam-Webster on serpent

Nglish: Translation of serpent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of serpent for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about serpent


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