ser·​pent ˈsər-pənt How to pronounce serpent (audio)
archaic : a noxious creature that creeps, hisses, or stings
: snake
: a treacherous person

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 hopes of winning an illustrious scholarship, Coriolanus takes on an unexpected assignment: as mentor for Hunger Games participant Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler), a nomadic musician boasting an aw-shucks affectation and affinity for serpents. Thomas Floyd, Washington Post, 15 Nov. 2023 The most beautiful moments happened in between the grand dance moves when the world was still, with just serpent and Brick in each other’s arms or flirting at the bar. Steven Vargas, Los Angeles Times, 25 Oct. 2023 These serpent glasses are calling for a hauntingly good cocktail. Sarah Yang, Sunset Magazine, 12 Oct. 2023 The road—a winding serpent—slithered through a kaleidoscope of forests dressed in their autumnal finery, a living mosaic of crimsons, golds and ambers. Kyle Edward, Forbes, 13 Nov. 2023 Bosom serpent, a snake, lizard or amphibian that resides within the chest. Scott Lafee, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Oct. 2023 In 2011, a 20-inch Egyptian cobra slithered out of her confines at the Bronx Zoo, spawning a weeklong search that captivated the city, fueled late-night sketches and even led to merch featuring the venomous serpent. Allison Elyse Gualtieri, CBS News, 29 Sep. 2023 Her garden, patio and verandas were home to an increasingly large number of stone artifacts, a beautiful carving of the serpent god Quetzalcóatl, revered for his wisdom, among them. Merilee Grindle, Smithsonian Magazine, 23 Oct. 2023 But their struggles worsen as their mercenary work leads them to a war between two tropical island nations, unleashing a serpent god that may destroy the world. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 24 Oct. 2023 See More

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near serpent

Cite this Entry

“Serpent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


ser·​pent ˈsər-pənt How to pronounce serpent (audio)
: a usually large snake

More from Merriam-Webster on serpent

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