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In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed... No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.
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1828 Noah Webster Dictionary
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1828.mshaffer.comWord [serpent]

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serpent

SER'PENT, n. [L. serpens, creeping; serpo, to creep.]

1. An animal of the order of Serpentes, [creepers, crawlers,] Of the class of Amphibia. Serpents are amphibious animals, breathing through the mouth bymeans of lungs only; having tapering bodies, without a distinct neck; the jaws not articulated, but dilatable, and withour feet, fins or ears. Serpents move along the earth by a winding motion, and with the head elevated. Some species of them are viviparous, or rather ovi-viviparous; others are oviparous; and several species are venomous.

2. In astronomy, a constellation of the northern hemisphere, containing, according to the British catalogue, sixty-four stars.

3. An instrument of music, serving as a base to the cornet or small shawm, to sustain a chorus of singers in a large edifice. It is so called for its folds or wreaths.

4. Figuratively, a subtil or malicious person.

5. In mythology, a symbol of the sun.




Evolution (or devolution) of this word [serpent]

1828 Webster1844 Webster1913 Webster

SER'PENT, n. [L. serpens, creeping; serpo, to creep.]

1. An animal of the order of Serpentes, [creepers, crawlers,] Of the class of Amphibia. Serpents are amphibious animals, breathing through the mouth bymeans of lungs only; having tapering bodies, without a distinct neck; the jaws not articulated, but dilatable, and withour feet, fins or ears. Serpents move along the earth by a winding motion, and with the head elevated. Some species of them are viviparous, or rather ovi-viviparous; others are oviparous; and several species are venomous.

2. In astronomy, a constellation of the northern hemisphere, containing, according to the British catalogue, sixty-four stars.

3. An instrument of music, serving as a base to the cornet or small shawm, to sustain a chorus of singers in a large edifice. It is so called for its folds or wreaths.

4. Figuratively, a subtil or malicious person.

5. In mythology, a symbol of the sun.


SER'PENT, n. [L. serpens, creeping; serpo, to creep. Qu. Gr. ερπω; or from a root in Sr. In Welsh, sarf, a serpent, seems to be from sâr. The Sanscrit has the word sarpa, serpent.]

  1. Ophidian reptiles without feet. Their bodies are extremely elongated, and move by means of the folds they form when in contact with the ground. Their hearts have two auricles. This is the widest use of the term serpent. This term is likewise applied to a family of ophidian reptiles, which comprises all the genera without a sternum, and without any vestige of a shoulder, &c.
  2. In astronomy, a constellation in the northern hemisphere, containing, according to the British catalogue, sixty-four stars.
  3. An instrument of music, serving as a base to the cornet or small shawm, to sustain a chorus of singers in a large edifice. It is so called from its folds or wreaths. – Encyc.
  4. Figuratively, a subtil or malicious person.
  5. In mythology, a symbol of the sun. Serpent stones or snake stones, are fossil shells of different sizes, found in strata of stones and clays. Encyc.

Ser"pent
  1. Any reptile of the order Ophidia; a snake, especially a large snake. See Illust. under Ophidia.

    * The serpents are mostly long and slender, and move partly by bending the body into undulations or folds and pressing them against objects, and partly by using the free edges of their ventral scales to cling to rough surfaces. Many species glide swiftly over the ground, some burrow in the earth, others live in trees. A few are entirely aquatic, and swim rapidly. See Ophidia, and Fang.

  2. To wind like a serpent] to crook about; to meander.

    [R.] "The serpenting of the Thames." Evelyn.
  3. To wind; to encircle.

    [R.] Evelyn.
  4. Fig.: A subtle, treacherous, malicious person.
  5. A species of firework having a serpentine motion as it passess through the air or along the ground.
  6. The constellation Serpens.
  7. 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.

    Pharaoh's serpent (Chem.), mercuric sulphocyanate, a combustible white substance which in burning gives off a poisonous vapor and leaves a peculiar brown voluminous residue which is expelled in a serpentine from. It is employed as a scientific toy. -- Serpent cucumber (Bot.), the long, slender, serpentine fruit of the cucurbitaceous plant Trichosanthes colubrina; also, the plant itself. -- Serpent eage (Zoöl.), any one of several species of raptorial birds of the genera Circaëtus and Spilornis, which prey on serpents. They inhabit Africa, Southern Europe, and India. The European serpent eagle is Circaëtus Gallicus. -- Serpent eater. (Zoöl.) (a) The secretary bird. (b) An Asiatic antelope; the markhoor. -- Serpent fish (Zoöl.), a fish (Cepola rubescens) with a long, thin, compressed body, and a band of red running lengthwise. -- Serpent star (Zoöl.), an ophiuran; a brittle star. -- Serpent's tongue (Paleon.), the fossil tooth of a shark; -- so called from its resemblance to a tongue with its root. -- Serpent withe (Bot.), a West Indian climbing plant (Aristolochia odoratissima). -- Tree serpent (Zoöl.), any species of African serpents belonging to the family Dendrophidæ.

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Serpent

SER'PENT, noun [Latin serpens, creeping; serpo, to creep.]

1. An animal of the order of Serpentes, [creepers, crawlers, ] Of the class of Amphibia. Serpents are amphibious animals, breathing through the mouth bymeans of lungs only; having tapering bodies, without a distinct neck; the jaws not articulated, but dilatable, and withour feet, fins or ears. Serpents move along the earth by a winding motion, and with the head elevated. Some species of them are viviparous, or rather ovi-viviparous; others are oviparous; and several species are venomous.

2. In astronomy, a constellation of the northern hemisphere, containing, according to the British catalogue, sixty-four stars.

3. An instrument of music, serving as a base to the cornet or small shawm, to sustain a chorus of singers in a large edifice. It is so called for its folds or wreaths.

4. Figuratively, a subtil or malicious person.

5. In mythology, a symbol of the sun.

Serpent stones or snake stones, are fossil shells of different sizes, found in strata of stones and clays.

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Word of the Day

importance

IMPORT'ANCE, n.

1. Weight; consequence; a bearing on some interest; that quality of any thing by which it may affect a measure, interest or result. The education of youth is of great importance to a free government. A religious education is of infinite importance to every human being.

2. Weight or consequence in the scale of being.

Thy own importance know.

Nor bound thy narrow views to things below.

3. Weight or consequence in self-estimation.

He believes himself a man of importance.

4. Thing implied; matter; subject; importunity. [In these senses, obsolete.]

Random Word

levigation

LEVIGA'TION, n. The act or operation of grinding or rubbing a solid substance to a fine impalpable powder.

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1828 Noah Webster Dictionary

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