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snake - Wiktionary


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A snake (anaconda).


From Middle English snake, from Old English snaca (“snake, serpent, reptile”), from Proto-Germanic *snakô (compare German Low German Snake, Snaak (“snake”), dialectal German Schnake (“adder”), Swedish snok (“grass snake”), Icelandic snákur (“snake”)), derived from *snakaną (“to crawl”) (compare Old High German snahhan), from Proto-Indo-European *sneg- (“to crawl; a creeping thing”). Cognate with Sanskrit नाग (nāgá, “snake”)). Doublet of nāga.



snake (plural snakes)

  1. A legless reptile of the sub-order Serpentes with a long, thin body and a fork-shaped tongue.
    Synonyms: joe blake, serpent
  2. A treacherous person.
    • 1838, Charles Dickens, Nicholas Nickleby[2]:
      Mrs. Kenwigs was horror-stricken to think that she should ever have nourished in her bosom such a snake, adder, viper, serpent, and base crocodile, as Henrietta Petowker.
  3. A tool for unclogging plumbing.
    Synonyms: auger, plumber's snake
  4. A tool to aid cable pulling.
    Synonym: wirepuller
  5. (slang) Trouser snake; the penis.
    Synonym: trouser snake
  6. (mathematics) A series of Bézier curves.
  7. (cartomancy) The seventh Lenormand card.

Derived terms[edit]

Terms derived from snake (noun)



legless reptile treacherous person plumbing tool
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.
Translations to be checked


snake (third-person singular simple present snakes, present participle snaking, simple past and past participle snaked)

  1. (intransitive) To follow or move in a winding route.
    Synonyms: slither, wind
    The path snaked through the forest.
    • 1996 September 24, Mark Addinall, “Football fever...”, in aus.personals, Usenet[3]:
      Any Brisbane female interested in snaking down a few beers whilst watching the footy on a big screen?
    The river snakes through the valley.
  2. (transitive, Australia, slang) To steal slyly.
    He snaked my DVD!
    • 2001 April 5, Hyena, “Home made supercharger ?”, in, Usenet[4]:
      Although it wouldn't be the first time some one patented an idea that I'd had a year earlier. […] Someone already has :) […] F*CK ME !!  Snaked again !
  3. (transitive) To clean using a plumbing snake.
  4. (US, informal) To drag or draw, as a snake from a hole; often with out.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Bartlett to this entry?)
  5. (nautical) To wind round spirally, as a large rope with a smaller, or with cord, the small rope lying in the spaces between the strands of the large one; to worm.


to move in a winding path

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]


Middle English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]


From Old English snaca, from Proto-Germanic *snakô.



snake (plural snakes or snaken or snake)

  1. snake
  2. serpent



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