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.]
- 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.
- In astronomy, a constellation in the northern hemisphere, containing, according to the British catalogue, sixty-four stars.
- 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.
- Figuratively, a subtil or malicious person.
- 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.
reptile of the order Ophidia; a snake, especially a large snake. See
Illust. under Ophidia.
- To wind like a serpent] to crook about; to
- To wind; to
- Fig.: A subtle, treacherous, malicious
- A species of firework having a serpentine
motion as it passess through the air or along the ground.
- The constellation
- 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