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


Alternative forms[edit]


snake +‎ -y


  • IPA(key): /ˈsneɪki/
  • (file)


snaky (comparative snakier, superlative snakiest)

  1. Resembling or relating to snakes; snakelike.
    • 1846 October 1 – 1848 April 1, Charles Dickens, “Retribution”, in Dombey and Son, London: Bradbury and Evans, [], published 1848, OCLC 145080417, page 594:
      There is a snaky gleam in her hard grey eye, as of anticipated rounds of buttered toast, relays of hot chops, worryings and quellings of young children, sharp snappings at poor Berry, and all the other delights of her Ogress's castle.
    • 1851 November 14, Herman Melville, chapter 27, in Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, 1st American edition, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers; London: Richard Bentley, OCLC 57395299:
      To look at the tawny brawn of his lithe snaky limbs, you would almost have credited the superstitions of some of the earlier Puritans, and half-believed this wild Indian to be a son of the Prince of the Powers of the Air.
  2. Windy; winding; twisty; sinuous, wavy.
    • c. 1596–1598 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Merchant of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act III, scene ii]:
      So are those crisped snaky golden locks
      Which make such wanton gambols with the wind,
      Upon supposed fairness, often known
      To be the dowry of a second head,
      The skull that bred them in the sepulchre.
    • 1942, Emily Carr, “Chain Gang”, in The Book of Small:
      The nuns’ veils billowed and flapped behind the snaky line of girls as if the sisters were shooing the serpent from the Garden of Eden.
    Walking through the snaky passages I was soon completely lost.
  3. (obsolete) sly; cunning; deceitful.
  4. (obsolete) Covered with serpents; having serpents.
    • 1634 October 9 (first performance), [John Milton], H[enry] Lawes, editor, A Maske Presented at Ludlow Castle, 1634: [] [Comus], London: [] [Augustine Matthews] for Hvmphrey Robinson, [], published 1637, OCLC 228715864; reprinted as Comus: [] (Dodd, Mead & Company’s Facsimile Reprints of Rare Books; Literature Series; no. I), New York, N.Y.: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1903, OCLC 1113942837, lines 447-452:
      What was that snaky-headed Gorgon shield
      That wise Minerva wore, unconquered virgin,
      Wherewith she freezed her foes to congealed stone,
      But rigid looks of chaste austerity,
      And noble grace that dashed brute violence
      With sudden adoration and blank awe?
    • 1700, John Dryden, “Palamon and Arcite,”[1]
      His hat adorned with wings disclosed the god,
      And in his hand he bore the sleep-compelling rod;
      Such as he seemed, when, at his sire’s command,
      On Argus’ head he laid the snaky wand.