1

serpentine

play
adjective ser·pen·tine \ ˈsər-pən-ˌtēn , -ˌtīn \
Updated on: 11 Sep 2017

Definition of serpentine

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

Examples of serpentine in a Sentence

  1. the country inn lies at the end of a rather serpentine road, but it's worth the trip

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.

Origin and Etymology of serpentine

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


2

serpentine

noun

Definition of serpentine

:something that winds sinuously

First Known Use of serpentine

1519


3

serpentine

play
noun ser·pen·tine \ ˈsər-pən-ˌtēn \

Definition of serpentine

:a mineral or rock consisting essentially of a hydrous magnesium silicate usually having a dull green color and often a mottled appearance

Origin and Etymology of serpentine

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

Other Mineralogy Terms


SERPENTINE Defined for English Language Learners

serpentine

play
adjective

Definition of serpentine for English Language Learners

  • : having many bends and turns


SERPENTINE Defined for Kids

serpentine

play
adjective ser·pen·tine \ ˈsər-pən-ˌtēn , -ˌtīn \

Definition of serpentine for Students

:winding or turning one way and another
  • a serpentine path


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up serpentine? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

alert quickness of mind or body

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!

  • young-plant-shoots
  • Which of the following is a new sense of the word bunny?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!