Definition of snake in English:



  • 1A long limbless reptile which has no eyelids, a short tail, and jaws that are capable of considerable extension. Some snakes have a venomous bite.

    • ‘Even though I've been bitten by a snake, I still like snakes.’
    • ‘I winced, expecting him to crush the snakes, or the cobras to bite him, or both of those things to happen at once.’
    • ‘Jesús Rivas is a man who has followed his passion, and his passion is the green anaconda, the largest snake in the world.’
    • ‘Color variations in captive colubrid snakes are well known.’
    • ‘The illegible writing begins to shift and change, turning into a snake biting its own tail, which twirls in a circle.’
    • ‘Like that of other snakes, death adder venom is a form of saliva.’
    • ‘The copperhead, a venomous snake, is dangerous, but its bite is rarely life-threatening to healthy adult humans.’
    • ‘Poachers illegally trade in snakes such as the Indian python, slaughtering the snake for their skin.’
    • ‘Shaken yet relatively unharmed, the snake rose, tail rattling again, preparing for one last strike.’
    • ‘Australian venomous snakes, belonging exclusively to the Elapidae family, are among the most toxic in the world.’
    • ‘Only about 50% of bites by exotic venomous snakes inject sufficient venom to cause clinical envenoming.’
    • ‘King Cobras are the world's largest venomous snakes, growing to an average length of nearly 6m.’
    • ‘Their staple diet comprises rodents and snakes including the highly venomous Cape cobra and puff adder.’
    • ‘Non-Hopi experts have tried to discover how the priests can handle snakes without being bitten, but the secret has not been revealed.’
    • ‘Unlike most other snakes, boa constrictors possess small vestigial hind legs.’
    • ‘Although venomous snakes can sometimes deliver a ‘dry’ bite without releasing their poison, all bites require immediate hospital treatment.’
    • ‘Like most other snakes, a flying snake is roughly circular in cross section.’
    • ‘One of the world's largest snakes, the python is a popular pet snake.’
    • ‘Even though he knows better, he has no qualms or reservations about putting his face two inches away from some of the most venomous snakes on the planet.’
    • ‘Prey-derived cues stimulate the tail movements of death adders and these snakes may more often attempt to lure lizards of a particular body size.’
    1. 1.1 (in general use) a limbless lizard or amphibian.
  • 2A treacherous or deceitful person:

    ‘that man is a cold-blooded snake’
    • ‘He's as manipulative as he is charming, a snake in the grass.’
    • ‘But what I really hate are snakes in the grass, waiting to slither in the back door for that important job when all the work is done.’
    • ‘You're nothing more than a lecherous snake in the grass, Shawn.’
    • ‘Louise is just a snake in the grass who can't be trusted.’
    • ‘And some CBS people I've talked to, as you well know, have referred to you as selfish, as sleazy, as a snake in the grass, and some other things that I can't say on the air.’
    traitor, turncoat, betrayer, informer, back-stabber, double-crosser, double-dealer, quisling, judas
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  • 3the snakeA former system of interconnected exchange rates for the currencies of EC countries:

    ‘the snake did not have any provision for strong currency nations to help the weak’
    • ‘After France and Italy left the snake their currencies depreciated, making their goods more competitive than German goods.’
    • ‘However, the snake was not very successful in limiting exchange rate fluctuations.’
    • ‘The UK was thus forced to leave the cooperation, and later also France, Italy, and Sweden withdrew from the snake in the tunnel arrangement.’
    • ‘Market pressures also busted the snake, as governments were unable to keep their currencies within these bands.’
  • 4A long flexible wire for clearing obstacles in piping.

    • ‘Step 2: If it is a major clog a toilet snake or closet auger with a padded end is best to use.’
    • ‘Step 3: If the closet auger is not effective, use a small snake in the same way as described for opening lavatory drains.’
    • ‘Plugged and or restricted drain lines need to be snaked out using a plumber drain cleaning snake.’
    • ‘As expected, they encountered the clog much farther down the pipe than the first plumber's snake could have reached from under the sink.’
    • ‘Next withdraw the snake and flush the pipe by inserting a garden hose with the water turned on full.’


  • Move or extend with the twisting motion of a snake:

    ‘a rope snaked down’
    • ‘A yellow extension cord snakes from the sculpture to the wall.’
    • ‘Before them the land was reasonably flat, a single road snaking through the grass and disappearing into a wood not far away.’
    • ‘If the thought of cables snaking across the living room is too much to live with, this virtual-surround system offers salvation.’
    • ‘The road snaked upward, its old pavement cracked in places, making the ride a bit rough.’
    • ‘It's quite impressive to see all the cars and trucks snaking down the hill and past the end of my road.’
    twist, wind, twist and turn, meander, zigzag
    curl, coil, wreathe, spiral, twine, loop, curve, corkscrew
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Old English snaca, of Germanic origin.