snake pit

noun

Definition of snake pit

1 dated : a hospital for the mentally ill
2 : a place or state of chaotic disorder and distress

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Examples of snake pit in a Sentence

finally managed to crawl out of the snake pit of her drug addiction
Recent Examples on the Web Mayes essays a preacher who is falling off the edge into, well, a snake pit of his own design. al, 1 Mar. 2021 That’s just one of the complicated, heated battles Becerra will face as Biden’s secretary of Health and Human Services, a snake pit of programs that attract fiercely competing interests and ideologies and can overwhelm someone trying to lead it. George Skelton, Los Angeles Times, 10 Dec. 2020 Dykes had set a booby trap: a snake pit of cables blocking the way into the bunker. CBS News, 6 Oct. 2020 This involved taking matter from a smallpox patient’s pustule—a snake pit of live virus—and applying it to the pricked skin of an uninfected person, then covering the spot with a linen rag. Siddhartha Mukherjee, The New Yorker, 26 Mar. 2020 Tommy—née Abigail Thomas, former high-ranking NYPD officer and newly appointed chief of the LAPD—has walked into a snake pit. John Anderson, WSJ, 30 Jan. 2020 Associating such pleasures and recollections with the era’s snake pit of gangsterism is meant to dispel nostalgia. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 28 Sep. 2019 As Mao drove Chiang and his forces to Taiwan and unified the mainland under Communist tyranny, his good name back home fell into a snake pit of paranoiac partisanship. James D. Hornfischer, WSJ, 3 May 2018 If the government throws an individual into a snake pit, and the individual is not harmed by the snakes, but hurts himself escaping the pit, the government has still placed the individual in danger that has caused the individual harm. Hannah Leone, Aurora Beacon-News, 2 Mar. 2018

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

1946, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for snake pit

Time Traveler

The first known use of snake pit was in 1946

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Cite this Entry

“Snake pit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/snake%20pit. Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

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