1 : of, relating to, or resembling a snake
2 : of or relating to a large cosmopolitan family (Colubridae) of chiefly nonvenomous snakes
Did You Know?
Colubrine may be less common than other animal words—such as canine, feline, and bovine—but it has been around for a good long while. Ultimately derived from the Latin colubra ("snake"), it slithered into the English language in the 16th century. (Cobra, by the way, comes from the same Latin word, but it entered English through Portuguese.) Some other words for "snakelike" are serpentine (a more common alternative) and ophidian (from the Greek word for snake: ophis).
The trellis's latticework was covered with colubrine ivy.
"Most of the colubrine snakes are entirely harmless, and are the common snakes that we meet everywhere." — Theodore Roosevelt, Through the Brazilian Wilderness, 1914
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Test Your Vocabulary
What kind of animal does the adjective lupine refer to?VIEW THE ANSWER
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP