snake pit


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 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, "How Does the Coronavirus Behave Inside a Patient?," 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, "‘Tommy’ Review: An Outsider on the Beat," 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, "Highlights from the New York Film Festival: Martin Scorsese’s Colossal, Mournful “The Irishman”," 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, "‘The China Mission’ Review: The Man Who ‘Lost’ China," 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, "Lawsuit over ex-Aurora employee who gave police personnel files to imprisoned felon can go on, judge says," 2 Mar. 2018 Breslin Center channeled all of its frustration and bitterness and sadness of one of the longest months in school history into a snake pit environment that long has been missing. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State uses emotional week as fuel in comeback win over Penn State," 31 Jan. 2018 Get used to these stories because, in my experience, state houses are real snake pits in this regard. Charles P. Pierce, Esquire, "The Land of the Free, Where God Specifically Oversees Oklahoma Wildlife," 19 Jan. 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.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jul. 2020.

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