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See also: Basilisk


English Wikipedia has an article on:

Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English basilicke, borrowed from Old French basilique, from Latin basiliscus, from Ancient Greek βασιλίσκος (basilískos, literally, a minor king or chieftain; also, possibly based on descriptions or rare encounters with different types of cobras could have given rise to the mythical snake "Basilisk", as certain cobras have crown-like patterns on their heads. The "deadly gaze" of the basilisk could have been from the "spitting cobras" ability to spit their venom into the eyes of any predators or prey from a distance), from βασιλεύς (basileús, king).


  • IPA(key): /ˈbæs.ɪ.lɪsk/, /ˈbæz.ɪ.lɪsk/
  • (file)


basilisk (plural basilisks)

  1. A mythical snake-like dragon, so venomous that even its gaze was deadly.
    the deadly look of the basilisk
    • 1886 October – 1887 January, H[enry] Rider Haggard, She: A History of Adventure, London: Longmans, Green, and Co., published 1887, OCLC 1167497017:
      And without more ado she [...] fixed her wonderful eyes upon me - more deadly than any Basilisk's - and pierced me through and through with their beauty, and sent her light laugh ringing through the air like chimes of silver bells.
    • 1981, William Irwin Thompson, The Time Falling Bodies Take to Light: Mythology, Sexuality and the Origins of Culture, London: Rider/Hutchinson & Co., page 249:
      As a revolutionary act of prophecy in an age of political science, Wissenkunst is a unique and anarchic expression of freedom, and not a new and aspiring system of indoctrination. If Wissenkunst is itself turned into political apologetics, then the fabulous plumed serpent is turned into a monster, a basilisk.
    1. (science fiction) An infohazard or cognitohazard, especially a Langford's basilisk.
      • 2019 June 13, Tom Chivers, The AI Does Not Hate You[1], Orion Publishing Group, →ISBN:
        A basilisk, in this context, is information that can hurt you simply because you are aware of it.
  2. (heraldry) A type of dragon used in heraldry.
  3. A tree-dwelling type of lizard of the genus Basiliscus: the basilisk lizard.
    • 1965 (March), Boys' Life (page 52)
      As a guide to start your collection we'd suggest either iguanas, tejus, swifts, basilisks, horned toads or alligator lizards.
  4. A type of large brass cannon.

Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


basilisk (not comparable)

  1. Suggesting a basilisk (snake-like dragon): baleful, spellbinding.
    • 1870, The British drama: illustrated, volume 4, page 997:
      Well, She is so basilisk; there’s no death in her eyes []
    • 1884, M. L. O'Byrne, Ill-won Peerages, Or, An Unhallowed Union, page 126:
      her gaze became more basilisk in its expression, and her countenance bore some similitude to that of a handsome fiend
    • 2004, Witi Tame Ihimaera, Whanau II, page 167:
      He had never seen her quite like this, so basilisk, so frightening


Dutch Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia nl


From Middle Dutch basilisc, from Latin basiliscus, from Ancient Greek βασιλίσκος (basilískos).


  • IPA(key): /ˌbaː.siˈlɪsk/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: ba‧si‧lisk
  • Rhymes: -ɪsk


basilisk m (plural basilisken, diminutive basiliskje n)

  1. a basilisk (mythological or heraldic monster, part serpent, part rooster)
    Synonyms: koningshagedis, koningsslang
  2. (zoology) a basilisk, a tree-dwelling type of lizard of the genus Basiliscus
    Synonym: boomhagedis

Related terms[edit]

Middle English[edit]



  1. Alternative form of basilicke