Main definitions of cobra in English

: cobra1COBRA2

cobra1

noun

  • 1A highly venomous snake native to Africa and Asia that spreads the skin of its neck into a hood when disturbed.

    • ‘The snake charmers, in return for a small fee, rescue species like cobras and rat snakes that show up in people's homes and release them in forests.’
    • ‘While human encounters with cobras, vipers, and pythons can prove fatal, more often than not it is the snakes that are killed.’
    • ‘The dexterity with which the charmers handle deadly snakes such as cobras and vipers has added to the allure of the street-side performances.’
    • ‘There, a rearing cobra with its hood spread wide was a symbol of royalty.’
    • ‘Scientists report that even hatching cobras, such as this red Mozambique cobra, instinctively aim and spit at a perceived predator's eyes.’
  • 2A yoga pose assumed by lying on one's stomach and raising one's upper body so as to curve it backwards, using one's arms and hands for support.

    ‘drop the pelvis and arch the back into cobra’
    • ‘Another therapeutic stretch is the cobra pose, a fundamental yoga stretch.’
    • ‘Some energizing postures given at her workshop included the cobra, locust, and chest expander.’
    • ‘When you are more confident you can move to the next stage of the cobra, straightening your arms as you raise the top half of your body off the ground.’
    • ‘Avoid traditional belly poses, such as the cobra pose, that require you to place weight on your midsection.’
    • ‘They spend an hour clearing their minds with cleansing breaths and strengthening their bodies with bridge and cobra poses.’

Origin

Mid 17th century: from Portuguese cobra de capello, literally ‘snake with hood’, based on Latin colubra ‘snake’.

Pronunciation

cobra

/ˈkōbrə//ˈkoʊbrə/

Main definitions of cobra in English

: cobra1COBRA2

COBRA2

(also COBR)

noun

  • often as modifier (in the UK) a government committee, typically chaired by the prime minister or a senior minister, that is specially convened as a result of a major emergency in order to coordinate the response of the various government departments and agencies responsible for handling the situation.

    ‘another meeting of the emergency COBRA committee will be held today to discuss how to tackle the floods’
    ‘a COBRA meeting’

Origin

From the initial letters of Cabinet Office Briefing Rooms, the place in Whitehall where the committees meet, with COBRA standing specifically for Cabinet Office Briefing Room A.

Pronunciation

COBRA

/ˈkoʊbrə//ˈkōbrə/