Word of the Day : August 11, 2014

wyvern

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noun WYE-vern

Definition

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

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

Symbols commonly used in heraldry include a number of mythical creatures, among them the winged wyvern.

"Wyverns keep a silent watch over the people of Leicester from rooftops and steeples across the city. Their coiled, winged bodies, part serpent part dragon, have been entwined in our ancient history for hundreds of years." - Leicester Mercury (United Kingdom), June 13, 2014



Test Your Vocabulary

Fill in the blanks to create a word that can refer to a monster from Greek mythology that breathes fire and has a lion's head, a goat's body, and a snake's tail: cie_a. The answer is …


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