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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


  • 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


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