Definition of serpentine in English:


Line breaks: ser¦pen|tine
Pronunciation: /ˈsəːp(ə)ntʌɪn



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  • 1 [mass noun] A dark green mineral consisting of hydrated magnesium silicate, sometimes mottled or spotted like a snake’s skin.
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    • 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.
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    • 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] Back to top  
  • Move or lie in a winding path or line: fresh tyre tracks serpentined back towards the hopper
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    • 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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