Etymology
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snake (n.)

Old English snaca, from Proto-Germanic *snakon (source also of Old Norse snakr "snake," Swedish snok, German Schnake "ring snake"), from PIE root *sneg- "to crawl, creeping thing" (source also of Old Irish snaighim "to creep," Lithuanian snakė "snail," Old High German snahhan "to creep"). In Modern English, gradually replacing serpent in popular use.

Traditionally applied to the British serpent, as distinguished from the poisonous adder. Meaning "treacherous person" first recorded 1580s (compare Old Church Slavonic gadu "reptile," gadinu "foul, hateful"). Applied from 17c. to various snake-like devices and appliances. Snakes! as an exclamation is from 1839.

Snake eyes in crap-shooting sense is from 1919. Snake-bitten "unlucky" is sports slang from 1957, from a literal sense, perhaps suggesting one doomed by being poisoned. The game of Snakes and Ladders is attested from 1907. Snake charmer is from 1813. Snake pit is from 1883, as a supposed primitive test of truth or courage; figurative sense is from 1941. Phrase snake in the grass is from Virgil's Latet anguis in herba [Ecl. III:93].

snake (v.)

1650s, "to twist or wind (hair) into the form of a snake," from snake (n.). The intransitive sense of "to move like a snake" is attested from 1848; that of "to wind or twist like a snake" (of roads, etc.) is from 1875. Related: Snaked; snaking.

updated on September 30, 2019

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Definitions of snake from WordNet
1
snake (n.)
limbless scaly elongate reptile; some are venomous;
Synonyms: serpent / ophidian
snake (n.)
a deceitful or treacherous person;
Synonyms: snake in the grass
snake (n.)
something long, thin, and flexible that resembles a snake;
snake (n.)
a long flexible steel coil for dislodging stoppages in curved pipes;
Synonyms: plumber's snake / auger
2
snake (v.)
move smoothly and sinuously, like a snake;
snake (v.)
form a snake-like pattern;
The river snakes through the valley
snake (v.)
move along a winding path;
The army snaked through the jungle
3
Snake (n.)
a tributary of the Columbia River that rises in Wyoming and flows westward; discovered in 1805 by the Lewis and Clark Expedition;
Synonyms: Snake River
Snake (n.)
a long faint constellation in the southern hemisphere near the equator stretching between Virgo and Cancer;
Synonyms: Hydra
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.