Definition of cottonmouth in English:


(also cottonmouth moccasin)


  • 1A large, dangerous semiaquatic pit viper that inhabits lowland swamps and waterways of the south-eastern US. When threatening it opens its mouth wide to display the white interior.

    Agkistrodon piscivorus, family Viperidae

    Also called water moccasin
    • ‘Those who could not get out of town would be swimming with the cottonmouths or tossed to the moon.’
    • ‘There are five species of poisonous snakes in the forest: the cottonmouth, coral snake, and three species of rattlers.’
    • ‘I've eaten rattlers, cottonmouths, copperheads - they all taste the same.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, he never did find the swamp, because the ground was alive with poisonous cottonmouth snakes and he didn't fancy getting bitten.’
    • ‘Any cottonmouth that came near me would wind up dead and I've brought home more than one fish with a bullet hole through it.’
    • ‘Dogs bitten by any of Texas' dangerous snakes, including rattlesnakes, cottonmouths, copperheads and coral snakes, often suffer unnecessarily.’
    • ‘We both recognized it as a moccasin, because the snake rule was simple: All snakes dropping into your boat at midnight in the river are cottonmouth moccasins, period.’
    • ‘We stood there in the vet clinic with one of the assistants calmly considering the possible reptilian culprits - rattler, cottonmouth, or copperhead.’
    • ‘It's because of birds that I know the difference between a sugar maple and a red maple, a diamondback water snake and a cottonmouth, an American lady and a painted lady.’
    • ‘I'm not glancing around for the next cottonmouth or even the clamping jaws of an irate alligator.’
    • ‘Firefighters say they want to brave the heat, the debris-littered roads, the poisonous cottonmouth snakes and fire ants and travel where many people have yet to receive emergency aid.’
    • ‘In the boxes the men heard the water rise in the trench and looked out for cottonmouths.’
    • ‘We couldn't always fish - sometimes there were swarms of mosquitoes or biting flies, and the pond was riddled with cottonmouths.’
    • ‘A rubber boot technically is not ‘snake proof’ but it can block the strike of a smallish cottonmouth.’
    • ‘He recently spent six months repeatedly noting the coiling configuration of twenty adult cottonmouths, a venomous species native to the southeastern United States.’
    • ‘She comes across a cottonmouth snake by the lake and experiences a spiritual and fatal attraction.’
    • ‘This is the only product that can neutralize toxins from rattlesnakes, cottonmouths, and copperheads.’
  • 2US informal Dryness of the mouth.

    ‘I often have cotton mouth and a headache when I wake up’