Word of the Day : October 19, 2016

colubrine

play
adjective KAHL-yuh-bryne

Definition

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).


Examples

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

What kind of animal does the adjective lupine refer to?

VIEW THE ANSWER

Podcast


More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!