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pit viper

noun
1.
any of numerous venomous snakes of the family Crotalidae, of the New World, Asia, and the Malay Archipelago, as the rattlesnake, water moccasin, and copperhead, having a heat-sensitive pit on each side of the head between the eye and nostril.
Origin
1880-1885
1880-85
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for pit viper
  • The venom of this species causes more respiratory distress than any other snake in the pit viper family.
  • As they approach, the people become more apparent to the pit viper from the heat they are giving off.
British Dictionary definitions for pit viper

pit viper

noun
1.
any venomous snake of the New World family Crotalidae, having a heat-sensitive organ in a pit on each side of the head: includes the rattlesnakes
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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pit viper in Science
pit viper  
Any of various very venomous snakes of the family Crotalidae. Pit vipers are characterized by a triangular head with a small sensory pit below each eye. The pits detect infrared radiation and help the snake locate prey. Some scientists classify the pit vipers as a subfamily Crotalinae within the Viperidae, the family of vipers, rather than as a separate family. Copperheads, rattlesnakes, and fer-de-lances are pit vipers.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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5
6
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