side·​wind·​er | \ ˈsīd-ˌwīn-dər How to pronounce sidewinder (audio) \

Definition of sidewinder

1 : a heavy swinging blow from the side
2 : a small pale-colored desert rattlesnake (Crotalus cerastes) of the southwestern U.S. that moves by thrusting its body diagonally forward in a series of flat S-shaped curves

Illustration of sidewinder

Illustration of sidewinder

sidewinder 2

Examples of sidewinder in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Facing sidewinder Steve Cishek, Canha lined a slider 313 feet to left field that hung up for Phil Gosselin. Matt Kawahara, San Francisco Chronicle, 31 July 2021 This mound of sidewinder fries is topped with bacon, chives and jalapeños, with another bowl of ranch on the side. Sarah Blaskovich, Dallas News, 18 June 2021 What a cool dream come true for Matt McDonald, a crafty sidewinder on the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, the former Giants farm team and now a member of the independent Mavericks League, which emerged after the minor-league restructuring. John Shea, San Francisco Chronicle, 5 June 2021 Mark Canha added a two-run shot against sidewinder Joe Smith in the ninth. Matt Kawahara, San Francisco Chronicle, 9 Apr. 2021 To examine the microstructure of sidewinder scales, her team used an atomic force microscope to scan naturally shed snake skins, provided by institutions such as the Atlanta Zoo. New York Times, 1 Feb. 2021 Snakes from a wide variety of habitats and ecological roles — including close relatives of the sidewinder rattlesnake, such as cottonmouths or diamondback rattlesnakes — have these prominent spikes on their bellies. New York Times, 1 Feb. 2021 Like the name suggests, sidewinder snakes slither to the side, leading with their bodies, unlike other species of snakes that wiggle forward and lead with their heads. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 8 Feb. 2021 Lifted with two outs in the second, with no dents or scratch, allowed the Padres to match up lefty sidewinder Hill to match up with left-handed Matt Carpenter. Bryce Miller Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sidewinder.' 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 sidewinder

1824, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of sidewinder was in 1824

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Cite this Entry

“Sidewinder.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for sidewinder


side·​wind·​er | \ ˈsīd-ˌwīnd-ər How to pronounce sidewinder (audio) \

Medical Definition of sidewinder

: a small pale-colored venomous rattlesnake of the genus Crotalus (C. cerastes) of the southwestern United States that moves by thrusting its body diagonally forward in a series of S-shaped curves

called also horned rattlesnake

More from Merriam-Webster on sidewinder

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sidewinder Encyclopedia article about sidewinder


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