ser·​pent | \ ˈsər-pənt How to pronounce serpent (audio) \

Definition of serpent

1a archaic : a noxious creature that creeps, hisses, or stings
b : snake
3 : a treacherous person

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Synonyms for serpent


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Examples of serpent in a Sentence

an Aztec carving of a feathered serpent representing the god Quetzalcoatl beware the temptations of the serpent
Recent Examples on the Web Self-consumption like the ouroboros, the world-circling serpent of ancient Egypt. Bethy Squires, Vulture, 13 Sep. 2021 The team took home the win in the first challenge of the seven-episode season with a massive cake and chocolate creation in the shape of the Aztec serpent Quetzalcoatl, in part inspired by his Hispanic heritage. Samantha Hendrickson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 30 Sep. 2021 The serpent was first reported to police Thursday in the area of Johnston Avenue, according to a department Facebook post., 28 Aug. 2021 Second, your best bet for survival when charged by a marine serpent is to resist the urges of flight or fight. New York Times, 19 Aug. 2021 Best sellers like the MVP Leggings models love, the Mocha Ribbed Tank Top that has Fox's stamp of approval, and the bold serpent set that Dewan and Schwarzenegger own are all included. Eva Thomas,, 16 Aug. 2021 Only after a moment does one notice the sinister serpent coiled around the tree, with his devilish head poking out from in between the split in its trunk. Benjamin Lima, Dallas News, 26 July 2021 The Native Americans who have lived here for thousands of years say that a giant serpent once menaced them from the high-desert hills that surround Upper Klamath Lake, a marshy expanse of water north of the Oregon-California border. Robert Gauthier, Los Angeles Times, 23 June 2021 Josiah Wise, serpent grew up in the church the way so many Black millennials did, not just on Sundays but on several other days of the week, too. Briana Younger, Vulture, 23 Mar. 2021

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

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First Known Use of serpent

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for serpent

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin serpent-, serpens, from present participle of serpere to creep; akin to Greek herpein to creep, Sanskrit sarpati he creeps

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Time Traveler for serpent

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The first known use of serpent was in the 13th century

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Dictionary Entries Near serpent



Serpent's Mouth

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Statistics for serpent

Last Updated

21 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Serpent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of serpent

: a usually large snake


ser·​pent | \ ˈsər-pənt How to pronounce serpent (audio) \

Kids Definition of serpent

: a usually large snake

More from Merriam-Webster on serpent

Nglish: Translation of serpent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of serpent for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about serpent


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