spitting cobra


: any of several cobras (such as Naja nigricollis and Hemachatus haemachatus of Africa) that in defense typically eject their venom toward the victim without striking

Examples of spitting cobra in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web By analyzing the venoms of 17 spitting and nonspitting species—and measuring their effects—venom biologist Nicholas Casewell of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and colleagues tested whether the makeup of spitting cobra venom had also changed over time to become a more effective defense. Mitch Leslie, Science | AAAS, 21 Jan. 2021 The result: a massive chance of a direct hit, and a reeling animal that will think twice about approaching a spitting cobra again. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 14 May 2010 Bruce Young from the University of Massachusetts is antagonising a spitting cobra. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 14 May 2010 Instead, the escape artist turned out to be a type of spitting cobra native to Africa. Washington Post, 2 July 2021 Take spitting cobras, which bite and spray painful, blinding venom at the eyes and face of an assailant, thanks to pores in their fangs. National Geographic, 7 Jan. 2020 Fire ants, spitting cobras and even some species of birds are known to disable their prey with harmful sprays. Douglas Quenqua, New York Times, 6 Feb. 2018 Among them was the African spitting cobra, Spracklandus. Benjamin Jones, Smithsonian, 7 Sep. 2017 See More

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Word History

First Known Use

1910, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of spitting cobra was in 1910

Dictionary Entries Near spitting cobra

Cite this Entry

“Spitting cobra.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spitting%20cobra. Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

Medical Definition

spitting cobra

: black-necked cobra
also : an African cobra (Hemachatus hemachatus) that in defense typically ejects its venom toward the victim without striking
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