Definition of serpentine in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsəːp(ə)ntʌɪn/


1Of or like a serpent or snake: serpentine coils
More example sentences
  • I retaliated by coiling my serpentine body around its neck and trying to constrict it to death.
  • However, dodge he did, and he was most thankful afterwards that he had for, instead of an arm and a hand, the monk had a thick, serpentine body with fat snake's head where the hand should be.
  • Inside the undulating serpentine shape of the snake body are shapes that resemble the decorative patterns often found on snakes to camouflage them.
1.1Winding and twisting like a snake: serpentine country lanes
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  • The Indian cricketers won their first Test on Pakistani soil, and this old town, with its maze of serpentine lanes and pocket-sized shops, had been witness to cricketing history.
  • Zig-zag roads and serpentine rivers criss-crossing different valleys of this far-flung district, make the landscape even more fascinating.
  • Banana trees hang out over the long and winding road and traffic rips around serpentine curves at speeds more appropriate to medical emergencies than the transportation of fruit.
1.2Complex, cunning, or treacherous: his charm was too subtle and serpentine for me
More example sentences
  • Gladiator weds the heroic scope of movies like Ben-Hur, Spartacus, Braveheart, and Rob Roy with the serpentine political treachery of I, Claudius.


1 [mass noun] A dark green mineral consisting of hydrated magnesium silicate, sometimes mottled or spotted like a snake’s skin.
Example sentences
  • The metamorphic mineral serpentine - or magnesium silicate hydroxide - is composed of magnesium, silicon and oxygen and is plentiful.
  • Also mixed in the melange are sandy limestone and serpentine, as well as sediments that eroded off a precursor of our present Sierra Nevada Range.
  • This is consistent with low-porosity sedimentary serpentine.
2 (the Serpentine) A winding lake in Hyde Park, London, constructed in 1730.
3A riding exercise consisting of a series of half-circles made alternately to right and left: for young horses, suppleness and control were built with serpentines
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  • Extended canter down the long side was the compensation to the horse after a three-loop serpentine at the canter with no change of rein.
  • Try and work on his balance and collection by riding full circles, half circles (to each side), figure eights and serpentines.
4 historical A kind of cannon, used especially in the 15th and 16th centuries.
Example sentences
  • By 1500 triggers had been developed, which remotely operated the serpentine and thus removed the gunner's hand from the area of the touch-hole.


[no object, with adverbial of direction]
Move or lie in a winding path or line: fresh tyre tracks serpentined back towards the hopper
More example sentences
  • That's all fine and good, but to a group of yahoos serpentining around a grassy knoll taking pots shots at each other, it maybe seems like too much, you know?
  • It is an easy drive on two lane roads that serpentine through the Laurel Mountains.


Late Middle English: via Old French from late Latin serpentinus (see serpent).

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Line breaks: ser¦pen|tine

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