Definition of wyvern
: a mythical animal usually represented as a 2-legged winged creature resembling a dragon
wyvern was our Word of the Day on 08/11/2014. Hear the podcast!
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.
Origin and Etymology of wyvern
alteration of Middle English wyvere viper, from Anglo-French wivre, guivre, from Latin vipera
First Known Use: 1610
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