Definition of pilot snake in English:

pilot snake

noun

US
  • 1The copperhead snake, Agkistrodon contortrix (family Viperidae), of North America.

  • 2Either of two colubrid snakes, the pine snake (Pituophis melanoleucus) and the black racer (Coluber constrictor).

  • 3Any of several rat snakes (genus Elaphe), specifically the black rat snake, E. obsoleta, a large constricting snake of eastern North America (also called pilot black-snake).

Origin

Late 18th century; earliest use found in Transactions of the American Philosophical Society. From pilot + snake. With sense 1 compare earlier pilot; on the origin of the name compare quot. 1890 at sense 1, and quot. 1782 at pilot.

Pronunciation

pilot snake

/ˈpʌɪlət sneɪk/