Definition of cobra in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkōbrə/


1A highly venomous snake native to Africa and Asia that spreads the skin of its neck into a hood when disturbed.
  • Naja and two other genera, family Elapidae: several species, in particular the king cobra and the spectacled cobra.
Example sentences
  • The dexterity with which the charmers handle deadly snakes such as cobras and vipers has added to the allure of the street-side performances.
  • 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.
2 (also cobra pose) A 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
More example sentences
  • Another therapeutic stretch is the cobra pose, a fundamental yoga stretch.
  • 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.


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

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: co·bra

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