Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search


Wikipedia has an article on:


First attested 1382, from Old French cocatriz, from Late Latin calcātrīx (she who treads upon something), from Latin calcō (tread), from calx (heel, hoof).


cockatrice (plural cockatrices)

  1. A legendary creature about the size and shape of a dragon or wyvern, but in appearance resembling a giant rooster, with some lizard-like characteristics.
    • (Can we date this quote?) J. Walker McSpadden, The Spell of Egypt
      “Peace reigns in happy Luxor. The lion lies down with the lamb, and the child, if it will, may harmlessly put its hand into the cockatrice’s den”
  2. (heraldry) A heraldic representation of such a beast used as a charge or as a supporter.
  3. (obsolete) Mistress, harlot
  4. (fantasy, folklore) A snake or serpent that appears to be hatched of a rooster, or cock's, egg.
    • 1611, Authorized King James Bible
      "For behold, I wil ſend ſerpents, cockatrices among you, which ʷᶦˡˡ not ᵇᵉ charmed, and they ſhall bite you; ſaith the Lᴏʀᴅ."
  5. (speculated) The cobra.
  6. (obsolete, figuratively) Any venomous or deadly thing.
    • Francis Bacon
      this little cockatrice of a king


  • For meaning "mistress": 1949, John Dover Wilson (compiler), Life in Shakespeare's England. A Book of Elizabethan Prose, Cambridge at the University Press. 1st ed. 1911, 2nd ed. 1913, 8th reprint. In Glossary and Notes
  • For meaning "a snake of a chicken's egg:" 1828, Noah Webster, American Dictionary of the English language.
  • For "cobra:" an article, “Cockatrice” or “Adder” in Isaiah 11:8 et al.?


See also[edit]