Definition of python in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpīˌTHän/
Pronunciation: /ˈpīTHən/


1A large heavy-bodied nonvenomous constrictor snake occurring throughout the Old World tropics.
  • Family Pythonidae: genera Python (of Asia and Africa), and Morelia and Aspidites (of Australasia).
Example sentences
  • Anacondas are related to boa constrictors and pythons.
  • Non-venomous snakes like boas and pythons grab their prey and squeeze them to death.
  • I used to keep pythons and boa constrictors years ago.
2 (Python) Computing A high-level general-purpose programming language.
Example sentences
  • This file is read and processed by a (mostly custom built) program written in the python language.
  • Code the python program to generate the server-side code.
  • Write a python application that plays the Rock-Paper-Scissors game against the computer.



Pronunciation: /pīˈTHänik/
Example sentences
  • And they can come back to perform Wembley, when they finally build the new stadium - to which there are pythonic problems.


Late 16th century (in the Greek sense): via Latin from Greek Puthōn, the name of a huge serpent killed by Apollo. The current sense dates from the mid 19th century.

  • A python's name comes from Greek Puthōn, the name of a huge serpent or monster killed by Apollo in Greek legend. Poets in the 17th and 18th centuries sometimes described any monster or plague as a python. Python was only used as a generic term for a snake that crushes its prey from the early 19th century. The BBC comedy series Monty Python's Flying Circus was first shown on 5 October 1969. The name was deliberately chosen to have no real meaning—it was the winning candidate from a list of absurd titles such as Gwen Dibley's Flying Circus, Vaseline Review, and Owl-Stretching Time. After a slow start the programme became so popular and influential that in 1975 it gave the language a new word, Pythonesque, to describe surreal humour.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: py·thon

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