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See also: Viper
From Middle French vipere, from Old French vipre, from Latin vīpera, contracted from vīvipara f (“viviparous”, adj.), from vivus (“alive”, adj.) + parere (“to bear”, verb). Doublet of weever and wyvern.
viper (plural vipers)
- A venomous snake in the family Viperidae.
- Synonym: adder
- (informal) Any venomous snake.
- (figuratively) A dangerous, treacherous, or malignant person.
- 1671, John Milton, “Samson Agonistes, […]”, in Paradise Regain’d. A Poem. In IV Books. To which is Added, Samson Agonistes, London: […] J. M[acock] for John Starkey […], OCLC 228732398, page 62:
- And aggravate my folly who committed / To ſuch a viper his moſt ſacred truſt / Of ſecreſie, my ſafety, and my life.
- 1879, Francis Beaumont, The Works of Beaumont and Fletcher: The Text Formed from a New Collation of the Early Editions, Volume 1, D. Appleton, page 350:
- Consider, for the love of Heaven, to what you run madly: will you take this viper into your bed?
- (slang) A person who smokes marijuana.
- For more quotations using this term, see Citations:viper.
a poisonous snake in the family Viperidae
adder — see adder