BASILISCAN

basilisk

[bas-uh-lisk, baz-]
noun
1.
Classical Mythology. a creature, variously described as a serpent, lizard, or dragon, said to kill by its breath or look.
2.
any of several tropical American iguanid lizards of the genus Basiliscus, noted for their ability to run across the surface of water on their hind legs.

Origin:
1250–1300; Middle English < Latin basiliscus < Greek basilískos princeling, basilisk, equivalent to basil(eús) king + -iskos diminutive suffix; allegedly so named from a crownlike white spot on its head

basiliscine [bas-uh-lis-in, -ahyn, baz-] , basiliscan, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To basiliscan
Collins
World English Dictionary
basilisk (ˈbæzɪˌlɪsk)
 
n
1.  (in classical legend) a serpent that could kill by its breath or glance
2.  any small arboreal semiaquatic lizard of the genus Basiliscus of tropical America: family Iguanidae (iguanas). The males have an inflatable head crest, used in display
3.  a 16th-century medium cannon, usually made of brass
 
[C14: from Latin basiliscus, from Greek basiliskos royal child, from basileus king]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Etymonline
Word Origin & History

basilisk
c.1300, from L. basiliscus, from Gk. basiliskos "little king," dim. of basileus "king" (see Basil); said by Pliny to have been so called because of a crest or spot on its head resembling a crown.
"The basilisk has since the fourteenth century been confused with the Cockatrice, and the subject is now a complicated one." [T.H.White]
Its breath and glance were said to be fatal. The South American lizard so called (1813) because it, like the mythical beast, has a crest. Also used of a large cannon, throwing shot of 200 lb., in 1549.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Easton
Bible Dictionary

Basilisk definition


(in R.V., Isa. 11:8; 14:29; 59:5; Jer. 8:17), the "king serpent," as the name imports; a fabulous serpent said to be three spans long, with a spot on its head like a crown. Probably the yellow snake is intended. (See COCKATRICE.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature