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early 13c., from Old French dragon, from Latin draconem (nominative draco) "huge serpent, dragon," from Greek drakon (genitive drakontos) "serpent, giant seafish," apparently from drak-, strong aorist stem of derkesthai "to see clearly," from PIE *derk- "to see." Perhaps the literal sense is "the one with the (deadly) glance."
The young are dragonets (14c.). Obsolete drake "dragon" is an older borrowing of the same word. Used in the Bible to translate Hebrew tannin "a great sea-monster," and tan, a desert mammal now believed to be the jackal.
[MIT] A program similar to a daemon, except that it is not invoked at all, but is instead used by the system to perform various secondary tasks. A typical example would be an accounting program, which keeps track of who is logged in, accumulates load-average statistics, etc. Under ITS, many terminals displayed a list of people logged in, where they were, what they were running, etc., along with some random picture (such as a unicorn, Snoopy or the Enterprise), which was generated by the "name dragon". Use is rare outside MIT, under Unix and most other operating systems this would be called a "background demon" or daemon. The best-known Unix example of a dragon is cron. At SAIL, they called this sort of thing a "phantom".
(1.) Heb. tannim, plural of tan. The name of some unknown creature inhabiting desert places and ruins (Job 30:29; Ps. 44:19; Isa. 13:22; 34:13; 43:20; Jer. 10:22; Micah 1:8; Mal. 1:3); probably, as translated in the Revised Version, the jackal (q.v.). (2.) Heb. tannin. Some great sea monster (Jer. 51:34). In Isa. 51:9 it may denote the crocodile. In Gen. 1:21 (Heb. plural tanninim) the Authorized Version renders "whales," and the Revised Version "sea monsters." It is rendered "serpent" in Ex. 7:9. It is used figuratively in Ps. 74:13; Ezek. 29:3. In the New Testament the word "dragon" is found only in Rev. 12:3, 4, 7, 9, 16, 17, etc., and is there used metaphorically of "Satan." (See WHALE.)