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 The 3-by-5-inch aluminum plate, installed on the left side of the rover chassis, shows Earth supported by the ancient symbol of the serpent entwined around a rod to represent the global medical community. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "NASA's Perseverance rover will launch to Mars next month with a global tribute to health care workers," 20 June 2020 The serpent, along with imagery of tarantulas and a black cat, suggest a peace disturbed. Kat Moon, Time, "The 4 Biggest Takeaways From TWICE's New Album MORE & MORE," 5 June 2020 Not so garter snakes, the harmless serpents that live throughout North America and part of Central America. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "Garter snakes are surprisingly social, forming ‘friendships’ with fellow serpents," 4 May 2020 Now, new research suggests that the toxic tango between the rough-skinned newt and its serpent predator may have a third participant: bacteria living on the newt’s skin, according to a new study published in the journal eLife. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "Toxic Newts Use Bacteria to Become Deadly Prey," 23 Apr. 2020 Cahokia was full of large earthen, monuments sculpted in the shape of gigantic lizards and a 1,330 foot-long serpent. John Blake, CNN, "Native Americans were already decimated by a virus. They're scared it could happen again," 14 Apr. 2020 To extract the towel from her, veterinarians -- including Dr. Olivia Clarke -- took radiographs to confirm the cloth's location within the serpent, who was then anesthetized for the procedure. Fox News, "Vets remove entire beach towel from Monty the python," 1 Mar. 2020 Sometimes – reacting at all is just feeding the serpent. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, "After his scam-sham wedding, friend tries again," 4 Apr. 2020 Sometimes -- reacting at all is just feeding the serpent. Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, "Ask Amy: Entitled friend gets married, again. Do we have to go?," 4 Apr. 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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for serpent

Last Updated

4 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Serpent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jul. 2020.

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How to pronounce serpent (audio)

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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