wy·​vern | \ ˈwī-vərn How to pronounce wyvern (audio) \

Definition of wyvern

: a mythical animal usually represented as a 2-legged winged creature resembling a dragon

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Did You Know?

Wyverns are often depicted as having the tail of a viper-a venomous snake-and that fact is reflected in the etymology of wyvern: it comes ultimately from the Latin word vipera, which means "viper." ("Vipera" is also, of course, the source of our word viper.) The creature the wyvern most closely resembles, however, is the also-mythical dragon. "Dragon" is a much older word-it has been in use since the 13th century, while "wyvern" dates to the early 17th-but it too has snakes in its history. The word originally referred not to the lizard-like creature we imagine today but to a huge serpent.

Examples of wyvern in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In Franche-Comté, the region in which the holotype was discovered, ‘la vouivre’ (=the wyvern) is a legendary winged reptile. Brian Switek, Scientific American Blog Network, "Paleo Profile: The Wyvern Dinosaur," 5 May 2017

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

First Known Use of wyvern

1610, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for wyvern

alteration of Middle English wyvere viper, from Anglo-French wivre, guivre, from Latin vipera

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The first known use of wyvern was in 1610

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Cite this Entry

“Wyvern.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wyvern. Accessed 19 January 2020.

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to insert between existing elements

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