What does serpent mean?

Definitions for serpent
ˈsɜr pəntser·pent

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word serpent.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. snake, serpent, ophidiannoun

    limbless scaly elongate reptile; some are venomous

  2. serpentnoun

    a firework that moves in serpentine manner when ignited

  3. serpentnoun

    an obsolete bass cornet; resembles a snake


  1. serpentnoun

    A snake.

  2. serpentnoun

    A musical instrument in the brass family, whose shape is suggestive of a snake (Wikipedia article).

  3. Etymology: From Latin serpens, from the verb serpo, from serp-.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. SERPENTnoun

    An animal that moves by undulation without legs. They are often venomous. They are divided into two kinds; the viper, which brings young, and the snake, that lays eggs.

    Etymology: serpens, Latin.

    She was arrayed all in lily white,
    And in her right hand bore a cup of gold,
    With wine and water filled up to the height;
    In which a serpent did himself enfold,
    That horror made to all that did behold. Fairy Queen.

    She struck me with her tongue,
    Most serpent like, upon the very heart. William Shakespeare, K. Lear.

    They, or under ground, or circuit wide,
    With serpent error wand’ring, found their way. John Milton.

    Haply piercing through the dark disguise,
    The chief I challeng’d: he whose practis’d wit
    Knew all the serpent mazes of deceit,
    Eludes my search. Alexander Pope, Odyssey.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Serpentnoun

    any reptile of the order Ophidia; a snake, especially a large snake. See Illust. under Ophidia

  2. Serpentnoun

    fig.: A subtle, treacherous, malicious person

  3. Serpentnoun

    a species of firework having a serpentine motion as it passess through the air or along the ground

  4. Serpentnoun

    the constellation Serpens

  5. Serpentnoun

    a bass wind instrument, of a loud and coarse tone, formerly much used in military bands, and sometimes introduced into the orchestra; -- so called from its form

  6. Serpentverb

    to wind like a serpent; to crook about; to meander

  7. Serpentverb

    to wind; to encircle

  8. Etymology: [F., fr. L. serpens, -entis (sc. bestia), fr. serpens, p. pr. of serpere to creep; akin to Gr. , Skr. sarp, and perhaps to L. repere, E. reptile. Cf. Herpes.]


  1. Serpent

    The serpent, or snake, is one of the oldest and most widespread mythological symbols. The word is derived from Latin serpens, a crawling animal or snake. Snakes have been associated with some of the oldest rituals known to humankind and represent dual expression of good and evil. In some cultures snakes were fertility symbols, for example the Hopi people of North America performed an annual snake dance to celebrate the union of Snake Youth and Snake Girl and to renew fertility of Nature. During the dance, live snakes were handled and at the end of the dance the snakes were released into the fields to guarantee good crops. "The snake dance is a prayer to the spirits of the clouds, the thunder and the lightning, that the rain may fall on the growing crops.." In other cultures snakes symbolized the umbilical cord, joining all humans to Mother Earth. The Great Goddess often had snakes as her familiars - sometimes twining around her sacred staff, as in ancient Crete - and they were worshiped as guardians of her mysteries of birth and regeneration.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Serpent

    sėr′pent, n. any member of the genus Ophidia, more popularly known as snakes—any reptile without feet which moves by means of its ribs and scales: a snake: a person treacherous or malicious: one of the constellations in the northern hemisphere: (mus.) a bass musical wind-instrument, entirely obsolete except in a few Continental churches, a tapered leather-covered wooden tube 8 feet long, twisted about like a serpent.—v.i. to wind along: to meander.—v.t. to girdle, as with the coils of a serpent.—ns. Serpentā′ria, the Virginia snakeroot; Serpentā′rius, the secretary-birds: the constellation Ophiuchus; Ser′pent-charm′er, one who charms or has power over serpents; Ser′pent-charm′ing, the art of charming or governing serpents; Ser′pent-cū′cumber, a long-fruited variety of the musk-melon; Ser′pent-dē′ity, the god of the Ophites, Abraxas; Ser′pent-eat′er, the secretary-bird: a wild goat in India and Cashmere; Ser′penteau, an iron circle with spikes to which squibs are attached, used in a breach.—n.pl. Serpent′es, the second order of the third class of limbless reptiles.—ns. Ser′pent-fish, the snake-fish; Ser′pent-grass, the alpine bistort.—adjs. Serpent′iform, ophidian in structure: snake-like; Ser′pentine, resembling a serpent: winding, tortuous: spiral: crooked.—n. a kind of firework: a 16th-cent. form of cannon: a mineral composed of silica and manganese, generally occurring massive, colour some shade of green, also red and brownish-yellow.—v.i. to wind or wriggle like a serpent.—adv. Ser′pentinely.—adjs. Serpentin′ic, Ser′pentinous.—adv. Serpentī′ningly, with a serpentine motion.—v.t. Ser′pentinise, to convert into serpentine.—v.i. Ser′pentise, to wind: meander.—adj. Ser′pent-like, like a serpent.—ns. Ser′pent-liz′ard, a lizard of the genus Seps; Ser′pent-moss, a greenhouse plant from the West Indies; Ser′pentry, serpentine motion: a place infested by serpents: serpents collectively; Ser′pent-star, a brittle star; Ser′pent-stone, snake-stone, adder-stone; Ser′pent's-tongue, the adder's-tongue fern; Ser′pent-tur′tle, an enaliosaur; Ser′pent-withe, a twining plant of tropical America; Ser′pent-wood, an East Indian shrub; Ser′pent-wor′ship, one of the most ancient and widespread forms of primitive religion, and still existing amongst many savage peoples; Sea′-ser′pent (see Sea).—Serpentine verse, a verse which begins and ends with the same word.—The old serpent, Satan. [L. serpens, -entis, pr.p. of serpĕre, to creep; akin to Gr. herpein.]


  1. Serpent

    The Greeks and Romans considered the serpent as symbolical of guardian spirits, and as such were often engraved on their altars.

    “Pleasing was his shape, And lovely; never since of serpent kind, Lovelier; not those that in Illyria changed Hermione and Cadmus, or the god In Epidaurus, nor to which transformed Ammonian Jove, or Capitoline, was seen.” (Milton.)

Anagrams for serpent »

  1. present

  2. repents

  3. respent

  4. penster

  5. strepen

How to pronounce serpent?

How to say serpent in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of serpent in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of serpent in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of serpent in a Sentence

  1. Martin Luther King, Jr.:

    We must combine the toughness of the serpent and the softness of the dove, a tough mind and a tender heart.

  2. Bruce Wells:

    My hunch on the Ditka quote is that it comes from a quirk of the King James translation, ancient Hebrew had a particular way of saying things like, 'and the next thing that happened was...' The King James translators of the Old Testament consistently rendered this as 'and it came to pass.' '' When phantom Bible passages turn dangerous People may get verses wrong, but they also mangle plenty of well-known biblical stories as well. Two examples: The scripture never says a whale swallowed Jonah, the Old Testament prophet, nor did any New Testament passages say that three wise men visited baby Jesus, scholars say. Those details may seem minor, but scholars say one popular phantom Bible story stands above the rest: The Genesis story about the fall of humanity. Most people know the popular version - Satan in the guise of a serpent tempts Eve to pick the forbidden apple from the Tree of Life. It's been downhill ever since. But the story in the book of Genesis never places Satan in the Garden of Eden.

  3. William Shakespeare:

    How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is To have a thankless child

  4. Van Eaton:

    You don't see a lot of people with, say, a Space Mountain car in their backyard, or a 40-foot-long sea serpent, for that matter, by their swimming pool. It's the kind of collection you'll see once in a lifetime.

  5. Baltasar Gracian:

    At 20 a man is a peacock, at 30 a lion, at 40 a camel, at 50 a serpent, at 60 a dog, at 70 an ape, and at 80 nothing.

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Translations for serpent

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"serpent." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 7 Jun 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/serpent>.

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