noun(also asp viper)
1A small southern European viper with an upturned snout.
- Vipera aspis, family Viperidae
- Overseas they have a mixture of cobras, vipers, asps and snake types that we don't have here, that produce quite different effects.
- But, he mused: ‘I feel that I may be taking an asp to my bosom.’
- Surely the worst asps in this world are the ones one has clasped to the bosom.
1.1 another term for Egyptian cobra.
- In his play Antony and Cleopatra, Cleopatra is delivered a basket of figs containing an asp, the venomous snake that ultimately causes her death.
- She would not live this way, so history says she had an asp, which was an Egyptian cobra, brought to her hidden in a basket of figs.
- This doesn't sound too appetizing to Cleo, and she has an asp - a rather poisonous snake - brought to her hidden in a basket of figs.
Middle English: from Latin aspis, from Greek.
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