Definitions for basilisk
ˈbæs ə lɪsk, ˈbæz-basilisk
This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word basilisk.
(classical mythology) a serpent (or lizard or dragon) able to kill with its breath or glance
ancient brass cannon
small crested arboreal lizard able to run on its hind legs; of tropical America
A mythical (and heraldic) snake-like dragon type, reputed to be so venomous that its gaze was deadly.
The deadly look of the basilisk
In heraldry, a type of dragon
A treedwelling type of lizard, of genus Basiliscus.
A type of large brass cannon.
Samuel Johnson's Dictionary
Etymology: basiliscus, Lat. of β ασιλισϰος, of βασιλευς, a king.
Make me not sighted like the basilisk;
I’ve look’d on thousands who have sped the better
By my regard, but kill’d none so. William Shakespeare, Winter’s Tale.
The basilisk was a serpent not above three palms long, and differenced from other serpents by advancing his head, and some white marks or coronary spots upon the crown. Thomas Browne, Vulgar Errours.
There we imitate and practise to make swifter motions than any you have: and to make them stronger and more violent than yours are; exceeding your greatest cannons and basilisks. Francis Bacon, New Atlantis.
In European bestiaries and legends, a basilisk ( or ) is a legendary reptile reputed to be a serpent king, who causes death to those who look into its eyes. According to the Naturalis Historia of Pliny the Elder, the basilisk of Cyrene is a small snake, "being not more than twelve inches in length", that is so venomous, it leaves a wide trail of deadly venom in its wake, and its gaze is likewise lethal. The basilisk's weakness is the odor of the weasel, which, according to Pliny, was thrown into the basilisk's hole, recognizable because some of the surrounding shrubs and grass had been scorched by its presence. It is possible that the legend of the basilisk and its association with the weasel in Europe was inspired by accounts of certain species of Asiatic snakes (such as the king cobra) and their natural predator, the mongoose.
A basilisk is a legendary reptile often depicted in literature and mythology, reputed to be the king of serpents and said to have the power to cause death with a single glance or breath. This mythological creature is generally described as a serpent or a dragon with deadly and petrifying abilities. In modern usage, Basilisk also refers to a genus of large lizards in Central and South America, known for their ability to run on water.
a fabulous serpent, or dragon. The ancients alleged that its hissing would drive away all other serpents, and that its breath, and even its look, was fatal. See Cockatrice
a lizard of the genus Basiliscus, belonging to the family Iguanidae
a large piece of ordnance, so called from its supposed resemblance to the serpent of that name, or from its size
In European bestiaries and legends, a basilisk is a legendary reptile reputed to be king of serpents and said to have the power to cause death with a single glance. According to the Naturalis Historia of Pliny the Elder, the basilisk of Cyrene is a small snake, "being not more than twelve fingers in length," that is so venomous that it leaves a wide trail of deadly venom in its wake, and its gaze is likewise lethal; its weakness is in the odor of the weasel, which, according to Pliny, was thrown into the basilisk's hole, recognizable because all the surrounding shrubs and grass had been scorched by its presence. It is possible that the legend of the basilisk and its association with the weasel in Europe was inspired by accounts of certain species of Asiatic snakes and their natural predator, the mongoose.
Chambers 20th Century Dictionary
baz′il-isk, n. a fabulous creature, about a foot long, with a black-and-yellow skin and fiery red eyes, so named, according to Pliny, from the crest on the head like a crown—variously regarded as a kind of dragon or cockatrice: in modern zoology, a harmless crested lizard of tropical South America: an ancient brass cannon throwing a shot of about 200 lb. weight. [Gr. basiliskos, dim. of basileus, a king.]
Dictionary of Nautical Terms
An old name for a long 48-pounder, the gun next in size to the carthoun: called basilisk from the snakes or dragons sculptured in the place of dolphins. According to Sir William Monson its random range was 3000 paces. Also, in still earlier times, a gun throwing an iron ball of 200 lbs. weight.
Military Dictionary and Gazetteer
An ancient piece of ordnance, which was 10 feet long and weighed 7200 pounds; so called from its supposed resemblance to the serpent of that name, or from its size.
The numerical value of basilisk in Chaldean Numerology is: 7
The numerical value of basilisk in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1
A major unexpected result of this study was that all species converged on the same new, lower level of thermal tolerance, while there was great variation in temperature tolerance before the cold event -- some, like the large-bodied brown basilisk, were very intolerant of low temperatures, while others like the Puerto Rican crested anole were more robust -- we observed that all species could now tolerate, on average, the same lowest temperature.
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Translations for basilisk
From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary
- basiliscCatalan, Valencian
- βασιλίσκος, δράκωνGreek
- koningshagedis, boomhagedis, basiliskDutch
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"basilisk." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 4 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/basilisk>.