serpentine

1 of 3

adjective

ser·​pen·​tine ˈsər-pən-ˌtēn How to pronounce serpentine (audio)
-ˌtīn
1
: of or resembling a serpent (as in form or movement)
2
: subtly wily or tempting
3
a
: winding or turning one way and another
a serpentine road
b
: having a compound curve whose central curve is convex
serpentinely adverb

serpentine

2 of 3

noun (1)

: something that winds sinuously

serpentine

3 of 3

noun (2)

ser·​pen·​tine ˈsər-pən-ˌtēn How to pronounce serpentine (audio)
: a mineral or rock consisting essentially of a hydrous magnesium silicate usually having a dull green color and often a mottled appearance

Did you know?

A snake moves by curving and winding along the ground. Roads through the Pyrenees, the mountains that separate Spain from France, tend to be serpentine, curving back and forth on themselves up and down the steep slopes. Serpentine has other meanings as well. As a noun, it's the name for a soft green mineral, and also for the party streamers you might throw at midnight on New Year's Eve. The serpentine belt under the hood in your car is the long, looping belt that most of the car's accessories—the AC, the power steering, the alternator, and so on—depend on to get their power.

Examples of serpentine in a Sentence

Adjective the country inn lies at the end of a rather serpentine road, but it's worth the trip
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
He is trained, tutored and eventually tortured; he is outplayed at cards and conspiracy, and is alternately the victim and the beneficiary of serpentine plots, but never the instigator of them. Matthew Keeley, Washington Post, 10 July 2024 On lush Sentosa Island, the 30-acre compound delights both traditionalists — with a pair of 19th-century colonial manors — and modernists, with a serpentine Foster + Partners addition that loops around a rainforest and a trio of swimming pools. Elaine Glusac, Travel + Leisure, 9 July 2024
Noun
The twists and turns of Alec Baldwin’s involuntary manslaughter trial for the fatal 2021 shooting of Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins just took a serpentine curve. Dominic Patten, Deadline, 12 July 2024 The asteroid’s sample largely consists of clay minerals, including serpentine, which makes the sample remarkably similar to rocks found at midocean ridges on Earth. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 27 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for serpentine 

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

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

Middle English, from Anglo-French serpentin, from Late Latin serpentinus, from Latin serpent-, serpens

Noun (2)

Middle English, from Anglo-French serpentin, Medieval Latin serpentina, serpentinum, from Late Latin, feminine & neuter of serpentinus resembling a serpent

First Known Use

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (1)

1519, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of serpentine was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near serpentine

Cite this Entry

“Serpentine.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/serpentine. Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

serpentine

adjective
ser·​pen·​tine
ˈsər-pən-ˌtēn,
-ˌtīn
1
: of or resembling a serpent
2
: winding or turning one way and another
a serpentine path through the woods

More from Merriam-Webster on serpentine

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