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

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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 Consider this shocking-turquoise, serpent-closure top-handle option. Katharine K. Zarrella, WSJ, 15 May 2021 Passion fueled much of serpent's lyrics, but so did losing love and the mere threat of it, and the tone of the music responded in kind. Hilary Hughes,, 26 Mar. 2021 Having spent his past few projects engaged in a kind of emotional exorcism, this is the space serpent wanted to inhabit. Briana Younger, Vulture, 23 Mar. 2021 The sun casts a shadow down the pyramid steps, appearing as a slithering serpent. Shanti Lerner, The Arizona Republic, 13 Mar. 2021 The titular last dragon, Sisu (voiced by Awkwafina), is modeled after naga, serpent-like creatures from Southeast Asian folklore. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, 6 Mar. 2021 The paintings, the stark beauty of the area and the Kumeyaay myth of the serpent of knowledge helped Mogt complete his mission. Beth Wood, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Mar. 2021 All the while, a serpent lurked, in this family and beyond it. New York Times, 29 Jan. 2021 The most bizarre attraction was a merry-go-round, where the ladies, in all their finery, sat on supine Chinese mannequins and the gents rode serpent-like creatures. Washington Post, 9 Dec. 2020

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.

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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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Last Updated

11 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Serpent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for serpent



English Language Learners Definition of serpent

literary : a usually large snake


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

Kids Definition of serpent

: a usually large snake


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