Viper

viper

1. (Science: zoology) Any one of numerous species of old world venomous makes belonging to Vipera, Clotho, daboia, and other genera of the family viperidae. There came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand. (acts xxviii. 3)

Among the best-known species are the European adder (Pelias berus), the European asp (Vipera aspis), the african horned viper (V. Cerastes), and the indian viper (daboia Russellii).

2. A dangerous, treacherous, or malignant person. Who committed To such a viper his most sacred trust Of secrecy. (milton) horned viper.

(Science: zoology) A small, slender, phosphorescent deep-sea fish (Chauliodus Sloanii). It has long ventral and dorsal fins, a large mouth, and very long, sharp teeth.

(Science: botany) Viper's bugloss, a perennial composite herb (Scorzonera Hispanica) with narrow, entire leaves, and solitary heads of yellow flowers. The long, white, carrot-shaped roots are used for food in Spain and some other countries.

Synonym: viper grass.

Origin: F. Vipere, L. Vipera, probably contr. Fr. Vivipera; vivus alive _ parere to bring forth, because it was believed to be the only serpent that brings forth living young. Cf. Quick, Parent, Viviparous, Wivern, Weever.


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