Definition of viper in English:

viper

Line breaks: viper
Pronunciation: /ˈvʌɪpə
 
/

noun

  • 1A venomous snake with large hinged fangs, typically having a broad head and stout body, with dark patterns on a lighter background.
    More example sentences
    • There were other snakes in his collection; mambas, vipers, adders, boomslangs, vine snakes, sand snakes, pythons and other cobra species.
    • While human encounters with cobras, vipers, and pythons can prove fatal, more often than not it is the snakes that are killed.
    • The dexterity with which the charmers handle deadly snakes such as cobras and vipers has added to the allure of the street-side performances.
  • 1.1A spiteful or treacherous person.
    More example sentences
    • Did we have idiots regulating morons or mice monitoring vipers?
    • I surrounded myself with vipers in human bodies.
    • Which may be why the vipers in the political snake pit are rattling their rattles and baring those long, curved fangs.

Phrases

viper in one's bosom

A person whom one has supported but now behaves treacherously towards one.
More example sentences
  • Thank goodness one politician opposed their entry - or we could have this viper in our bosom!
  • Apparently he has been unconsciously nursing a viper in his bosom, for the same Science now ‘turns and strikes him.’
  • Why nourish a viper in one's bosom, cultivate an adversary, possibly an enemy?

Derivatives

viperine

adjective
More example sentences
  • Hers is the most determined fall into degradation, epitomized by the viperine smile that simmers on her lips after her final abasement for a fix.
  • In view of its precarious status, removal of viperine snakes from breeding pools should continue to be part of the population management strategy for this endangered amphibian.
  • I took this photo of a viperine snake last August at midday on a shaded stone wall just outside a village in Northern Navarra.

viperish

adjective
More example sentences
  • Surely, people are more scared of you and your viperish tongue?
  • Occasionally she even demonstrates some viperish spirit, as when she traded insults with another model.
  • Considering they're cousins I've never seen a more viperish attack of sibling rivalry ever.

viperous

adjective
More example sentences
  • Now we face the least appealing of the evening's ever-shifting alternatives - marching eight miles through viperous wastes, past a frontier checkpoint, to the nearest outpost of the border patrol.
  • When the Commission finds in her husband's favour, she has to watch her poisoner pardoned, freed and fêted as a popular celebrity, while she faces an increasingly viperous press, and is jeered at and spat on in the streets.
  • It was a peaceful town till about a year ago when some viperous barbarian started slaughtering folks.

Origin

early 16th century: from French vipère or Latin vipera, from vivus 'alive' + parere 'bring forth'.

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