snake

noun
\ ˈsnāk How to pronounce snake (audio) \

Definition of snake

 (Entry 1 of 3)

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

snake

verb
snaked; snaking

Definition of snake (Entry 2 of 3)

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

Snake

geographical name
\ ˈsnāk How to pronounce Snake (audio) \

Definition of Snake (Entry 3 of 3)

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from snake

Noun

snakelike \ ˈsnāk-​ˌlīk How to pronounce snakelike (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for snake

Synonyms: Noun

serpent, viper

Synonyms: Verb

lurk, mooch, mouse, pussyfoot, shirk, skulk, slide, slink, slip, sneak, steal

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

Instead, Corey Binns writes in a separate Live Science article, snakes utilize two lower jaws that move independently of each other but are connected by an elastic ligament. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "See a Python Swallow a Crocodile Whole," 12 July 2019 As a result, many tall ferns and shrubs were growing beneath the canopy, creating a home for insects, spiders, and snakes. Dyna Rochmyaningsih, Science | AAAS, "Courting controversy, scientists team with industry to tackle one of the world’s most destructive crops," 11 July 2019 At every stop, hundreds of fans snake around the block for a selfie. Charlie Campbell/tianan, Time, "Foxconn Founder Terry Gou Wants to be Taiwan’s President—and a Go-Between for U.S. and China," 11 July 2019 The 300-page environmental document produced by federal researchers analyzed and dismissed dozens of other possible mouse control methods, including feral cats, snakes, trapping and sterilization. Peter Fimrite, SFChronicle.com, "Coastal Commission to consider poisoning mice to restore balance on Farallon Islands," 10 July 2019 Fred, professional snake, has brokered a deal with Commander Winslow (Christopher Meloni). Elena Nicolaou, refinery29.com, "The Handmaid's Tale Season 3, Episode 7 Recap: A Criminal Record," 5 July 2019 To be legal, those fireworks must bear a logo from the state fire marshal and include such items as sparklers, snaps, smoke balls and snakes. Karen Kucher, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Officials remind revelers that setting off your own fireworks is illegal — and can be dangerous," 1 July 2019 However, there are some legal fireworks products, including handheld sparklers, party poppers, snap pops and ignitable snakes. Jess Nocera, baltimoresun.com, "Five fireworks safety tips ahead of the Fourth of July holiday," 27 June 2019 There’s a fancy cafe called Bru with plenty of empty tables, while the line for Dunkin’ snakes down the hall. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "Our food critic ate her way through the Encore Boston casino so you don’t have to," 25 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Bria is a two-hour flight from the capital, Bangui, over an endless canopy of rain forest and snaking rivers. Sebastian Shukla, Tim Lister And Clarissa Ward, CNN, "The forgotten crisis that has displaced 1.2 million people," 27 June 2019 The lumbering drums, the perfect harmonies and Paul’s delicious, snaking bass through the whole damn thing. David Lindquist, Indianapolis Star, "Before 'Yesterday,' Global Beatles Day celebrates unforgettable Fab Four," 25 June 2019 The Cuyahoga River, just south of the city’s downtown area, snaking for 100 miles across Ohio and emptying into Lake Erie, proved the perfect place for factories to set up camp. Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, "The Cuyahoga River Caught Fire at Least a Dozen Times, but No One Cared Until 1969," 19 June 2019 Then hike down to Miage Glacier, which snakes down from the Mont Blanc massif into Val Veni. National Geographic, "Tour du Mont Blanc," 17 June 2019 The snaking mountain roads of southern Greece's Peloponnese peninsula reward drivers with breathtaking panoramas. Houston Chronicle, "Range Rover Evoque gets added finesse, mild-hybrid versions," 14 June 2019 Although many people use boats to get onto the bay and beyond, the town’s snaking shoreline provides virtually anyone a chance to snag a salmon -- literally. Matt Tunseth, Anchorage Daily News, "Working the night shift: Snagging salmon in Seward," 11 June 2019 Dozens snaked through the Warriors store and filled plastic bags full of jerseys, t-shirts and caps. Lauren Hernández, SFChronicle.com, "For Warriors fans at Oracle — this is goodbye to The Town," 13 June 2019 Before the funeral, Ti Martin, co-proprietor of Commander’s Palace restaurant and a member of New Orleans’ famed Brennan family of restaurateurs, stood in a line that snaked around the block. Washington Post, "Creole cuisine queen Leah Chase gets New Orleans sendoff," 11 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'snake.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of snake

Noun

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

Verb

1653, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for snake

Noun

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about snake

Statistics for snake

Last Updated

19 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for snake

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for snake

snake

noun

English Language Learners Definition of snake

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an animal that has a long, thin body and no arms or legs
chiefly US, informal : a bad person who tells lies and betrays other people
: a long thin tool that is used to clear out blocked pipes

snake

verb

English Language Learners Definition of snake (Entry 2 of 2)

: to move like a snake : to follow a twisting path with many turns

snake

noun
\ ˈsnāk How to pronounce snake (audio) \

Kids Definition of snake

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a limbless reptile that has a long body with scales and feeds usually on large insects or small animals and birds
2 : a person who is mean or can't be trusted

snake

verb
snaked; snaking

Kids Definition of snake (Entry 2 of 2)

: to crawl, wind, or move like a snake The parade snaked its way along Main Street.

snake

noun
\ ˈsnāk How to pronounce snake (audio) \

Medical Definition of snake

: 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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on snake

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with snake

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for snake

Spanish Central: Translation of snake

Nglish: Translation of snake for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of snake for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about snake

Comments on snake

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

WORD OF THE DAY

characterized by aphorism

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

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!