snake

1 of 2

noun

1
: any of numerous limbless scaled reptiles (suborder Serpentes synonym Ophidia) with a long tapering body and with salivary glands often modified to produce venom which is injected through grooved or tubular fangs
2
: a worthless or treacherous fellow
3
: something (such as a plumber's snake) resembling a snake
snakelike adjective

snake

2 of 2

verb

snaked; snaking

transitive verb

1
: to wind (one's way, one's body in crawling, etc.) in the manner of a snake
2
: to move (something, such as logs) by dragging

intransitive verb

: to crawl, move, or extend silently, secretly, or sinuously

Examples of snake in a Sentence

Noun I thought she was my friend, but she turned out to be a snake in the grass. snakes are cold-blooded, so they regulate their body temperature by alternately basking in sunlight and seeking shade Verb The road snakes through the mountains. Cables snaked across the floor. Technicians snaked cables through the set. He snaked his way through the crowd. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
This stowaway snake situation comes a few weeks after a cat owner in Australia discovered a dangerous snake wrapped around her feline's neck. Kelli Bender, Peoplemag, 20 Feb. 2024 Her brown mane swirls and snakes, reaching for the surface. Myriam Gurba, Los Angeles Times, 15 Feb. 2024 The art on the label is a vintage photo of a Burmese priestess kissing a snake, perhaps eluding to how difficult and site-specific Grenache is to make well. Kim Westerman, Forbes, 14 Feb. 2024 Several snakes have a blueish gray coloring with brown band-like blotches. Aspen Pflughoeft, Miami Herald, 14 Feb. 2024 There’s some apparel, jewelry such as snake rings and decor including a hook pillow featuring the Eye of Providence symbol. Joyce Smith, Kansas City Star, 30 Jan. 2024 The Furies of ancient Greece and Rome were also divine, a trio of miserable hags with snakes for hair. Alexandra Schwartz, The New Yorker, 5 Feb. 2024 The theory has picked up speed in recent months, with many of Swift’s going-out looks appearing to be inspired by the goth aesthetics and snake emblems of the original Reputation. Jordan Greene, Peoplemag, 5 Feb. 2024 The outdoor shots are amazing, too, from Kata’s routine of swimming laps outside in a pool surrounded by snow to aerial scenes of lonely country highways that cut through snowbanks like gray snakes. Andrea Duncan-Mao, Vulture, 28 Jan. 2024
Verb
Or could the seed for this phenomenon have been sewn way back in 1972, when the British Museum announced its Treasures of Tutankhamun exhibition, which saw lines snaking around the block – the first for a London museum at the time? Angelina Villa-Clarke, Forbes, 16 Feb. 2024 Tom Moschella, an independent contractor in Massachusetts, explains that a professional will have to snake wiring through the wall to set up a new outlet exactly where your new fireplace will plug in. Hannah Holland, Washington Post, 25 Jan. 2024 So many dutiful Bills fans showed up on Friday that lines snaked around the stadium for hours. Jalen Wright, New York Times, 20 Jan. 2024 The former Ferry Lane industrial estate, snaking alongside the peaceful Walthamstow Wetlands (themselves well worth a wander), has also had a major glow-up over the past few years. Condé Nast Traveler, 3 Jan. 2024 Ocean Drive is a scenic 10-mile road that snakes past mansions and stunning waterfront vistas. Dobrina Zhekova, Travel + Leisure, 8 Dec. 2023 The line to simply attend the five finalists’ pitches snaked deep down a corridor of Buenos Aires’ Universidad Católica Argentina; finalists presented to one of the market’s liveliest since young audiences in one of Ventana Sur’s most spirited sessions. John Hopewell, Variety, 2 Dec. 2023 Embellished with swirling, spikey synths this dub drenched instrumental highlights Family Man’s booming bassline that snakes its way around skanking guitars, bubbling keys and Fela Kuti-esque horns. Patricia Meschino, Rolling Stone, 4 Feb. 2024 Richmond Ranch is also expected to be part of a network of trails that would snake along the ridges of the Bay Area, county officials say. George Avalos, The Mercury News, 29 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'snake.' 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

Noun

Middle English, from Old English snaca; akin to Old Norse snakr snake, Old High German snahhan to crawl

First Known Use

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1653, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of snake was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near snake

Cite this Entry

“Snake.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/snake. Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

snake

1 of 2 noun
1
: any of numerous limbless reptiles that have a long body and salivary glands often capable of producing venom which is injected through fangs
2
: a mean or treacherous person
snakelike adjective

snake

2 of 2 verb
snaked; snaking
: to crawl, wind, or move like a snake

Medical Definition

snake

noun
: any of numerous limbless scaled reptiles (suborder Serpentes synonym Ophidia) with a long tapering body and with salivary glands often modified to produce venom which is injected through grooved or tubular fangs

Geographical Definition

Snake

geographical name

river 1038 miles (1670 kilometers) long in the northwestern U.S. flowing from northwestern Wyoming across southern Idaho and into the Columbia River in Washington

More from Merriam-Webster on snake

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