Definition of serpent in English:

serpent

Syllabification: ser·pent
Pronunciation: /ˈsərpənt
 
/

noun

  • 1chiefly • literary A large snake.
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    • Join us each day for stories about serpents, from flying snakes to Vietnamese cobras and North American copperheads.
    • Hiding out in or near steamy rivers and swamps in South America east of the Andes from Colombia to Paraguay and also on the island of Trinidad, these semiaquatic serpents are the largest snakes in the world.
    • This story airs in the United States tonight on the National Geographic Channel's Five Days of Snakes - a series of programs about serpents, and the scientists and others who work with them.
  • 1.1 (the Serpent) A biblical name for Satan (see Gen. 3, Rev. 20).
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    • The story of Adam and Eve and the Serpent seemed a naïve myth.
    • Interstingly enough, in the Haggadah, the Serpent in the garden is actually in charge of the other creatures of the garden, and walks upright, and has hands.
    • A saxophone represents the Serpent in the Garden of Eden, which should give jazz bands pause!
  • 1.2A dragon or other mythical snakelike reptile.
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    • It's a snake-like serpent which came upon the landscape and created the rivers and streams and waterholes.
    • It had dragons and serpents and chimeras and gryphons and other fun creatures that I wish existed.
    • The dragon and the serpent flew into the clouds and it started to rain heavily.
  • 2A sly or treacherous person, especially one who exploits a position of trust in order to betray it.
  • 3 historical A bass wind instrument made of leather-covered wood in three U-shaped turns, with a cup-shaped mouthpiece and few keys. It was played in military and church bands from the 17th to 19th centuries.
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    • Brass bands began as military bands in the 19th century, initially with keyed bugles, serpents, bass horns, and other keyed brass instruments, changing to valved brass once these became available.
    • An exception must be made for the occasions when the serpent is used to double the awesome Dies Irae at Requiem mass.

Origin

Middle English: via Old French from Latin serpent- 'creeping', from the verb serpere.

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