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[rat-l-sneyk] /ˈræt lˌsneɪk/
any of several New World pit vipers of the genera Crotalus and Sistrurus, having a rattle composed of a series of horny, interlocking elements at the end of the tail.
Origin of rattlesnake
1620-30, Americanism; rattle1 + snake Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for rattlesnake
  • Its only excitement was an annual rattlesnake round-up.
  • But several of them were active in the sluggish rattlesnake fashion.
  • It seems possible that the mouth was opened wide and stabbing blows delivered, almost as a rattlesnake strikes with raised fangs.
  • And other snakes are set to join the ranks of the sequenced, including the garter snake, the rattlesnake and the king cobra.
  • It is a story of a personal interaction with a rattlesnake and the discovery leading from it.
  • The venomous prairie rattlesnake also roams freely in the park and can strike if provoked.
  • It's said that her hand movements are quicker than the striking speed of a rattlesnake.
  • Summer inhabitants include the occasional rattlesnake and scorpion.
  • The rattlesnake is known for the rattle at the end of its tail.
  • Jim's has thousands of imported canned goods, and meats ranging from ostrich to boar to rattlesnake.
British Dictionary definitions for rattlesnake


any of the venomous New World snakes constituting the genera Crotalus and Sistrurus, such as C. horridus (black or timber rattlesnake): family Crotalidae (pit vipers). They have a series of loose horny segments on the tail that are vibrated to produce a buzzing or whirring sound
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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Word Origin and History for rattlesnake

1620s, from rattle + snake (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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