Definition of cobra in English:


Line breaks: cobra
Pronunciation: /ˈkəʊbrə
, ˈkɒbrə


  • 1A highly venomous African or Asian snake that spreads the skin of its neck into a hood when disturbed.
    • Naja and two other genera, family Elapidae: several species, in particular the spectacled cobra
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    • The dexterity with which the charmers handle deadly snakes such as cobras and vipers has added to the allure of the street-side performances.
    • The snake charmers, in return for a small fee, rescue species like cobras and rat snakes that show up in people's homes and release them in forests.
    • While human encounters with cobras, vipers, and pythons can prove fatal, more often than not it is the snakes that are killed.
  • 2 (also cobra pose) A yoga pose assumed by lying on one’s stomach and raising one’s upper body so as to curve it backwards, using one’s arms and hands for support: as you do the cobra, make sure you are not overextending the lower back
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    • Some energizing postures given at her workshop included the cobra, locust, and chest expander.
    • When you are more confident you can move to the next stage of the cobra, straightening your arms as you raise the top half of your body off the ground.
    • Another therapeutic stretch is the cobra pose, a fundamental yoga stretch.


mid 17th century: from Portuguese cobra de capello, literally 'snake with hood', based on Latin colubra 'snake'.

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