Definition of basilisk in English:


Syllabification: bas·i·lisk
Pronunciation: /ˈbasəˌlisk, ˈbaz-


  • 1A mythical reptile with a lethal gaze or breath, hatched by a serpent from a cock’s egg.
    More example sentences
    • The computer programs tell us all about snakes and lizards and birds and mammals, about atoms and planets and plants, but not dragons or basilisks or cyclopsi.
    • The demo includes greatly modelled troglodytes, skeleton warriors, dragonflies, basilisks, evil eyes, terror eyes, lizardmen and lizardmen warriors.
    • For I say, fear the fire of dragons and the eye of the basilisk.
  • 1.1 Heraldry another term for cockatrice.
    More example sentences
    • In heraldry the basilisk is represented as an animal with the head, torso and legs of a cock, the tongue of a snake and the wings of a bat.
    • The best representation of the basilisk is found in the decorative field of heraldry where the basilisk had the head and legs of a cock, a snake-like tail, and a body like a bird’s.
    • They also investigate the origins of various heraldic monsters, such as the basilisk (based on the hooded cobra).
  • 2A long, slender, and mainly bright green lizard found in Central America, the male of which has a crest running from the head to the tail. It can swim well and is able to run on its hind legs across the surface of water.
    • Basiliscus plumifrons, family Iguanidae
    More example sentences
    • To find answers, Hsieh and Lauder turned to the basilisk lizard, a skittish tree-dwelling species found in Central America.
    • A basilisk lizard, or Jesus lizard, runs across water during an experiment.
    • This combined pressure allows the basilisk to run on water with a speed of 8 to 10 km an hour.


late Middle English: via Latin from Greek basiliskos 'little king, serpent', from basileus 'king'.

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