Try Our Apps


What is the origin of "December"?

rat snake

any of several New and Old World colubrid snakes, of the genus Elaphe, that feed chiefly on small mammals and birds.
Also called house snake.
Origin of rat snake
1855-60 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for rat-snake
Historical Examples
  • The presence of a rat-snake (Zamenis mucosus) in a house at night is believed to bring good fortune to the inmates.

  • A person should postpone an errand on which he is starting, if he sees a cobra or rat-snake.

  • All the roofs of the thatched bungalows swarm with rats, and in every house is kept a rat-snake, which kills and eats these rats.

    A Voyage in the 'Sunbeam' Annie Allnut Brassey
  • There is a belief in Ceylon that the bite of the rat-snake, though harmless to man, is fatal to black cattle.

  • One the great serpent would select, would lap in scaly coils, crush to a red pulp and swallow as a rat-snake swallows a mouse.

    The Hour of the Dragon Robert E. Howard
  • A friend informs us that he once saw in these gardens a rat-snake of Ceylon devour a common Coluber natrix.

British Dictionary definitions for rat-snake

rat snake

any of various nonvenomous rodent-eating colubrid snakes, such as Elaphe obsoleta of North America and Ptyas mucosus of Asia
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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Word Value for rat

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for rat-snake