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[sur-puh nz, -penz] /ˈsɜr pənz, -pɛnz/
noun, genitive Serpentis
[ser-pen-tis] /sərˈpɛn tɪs/ (Show IPA).
the Serpent, a constellation consisting of two separate parts, the head (Serpens Caput) and the tail (Serpens Cauda) with Ophiuchus in between.
Origin of Serpens
< Latin serpēns serpent, orig. present participle of serpere to creep, crawl; cognate with Greek hérpēs (cf. herpes, herpetology) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for Serpens
Historical Examples
  • We now pass northward to the region covered by map No. 14, including the remainder of Ophiuchus and Serpens.

    Pleasures of the telescope Garrett Serviss
  • The marginal translation in the English version is ‘crossing like a bar,’ instead of piercing, and the Vulgate has Serpens vectis.

    Demonology and Devil-lore Moncure Daniel Conway
  • Buffon himself could not tell whether the animal was a quadruped, or of the order, Serpens!

    The Prairie J. Fenimore Cooper
  • Reference is here made to the beautiful constellation of "Serpens," or Draco, of graceful and striking appearance.

    The Spirit and the Word Zachary Taylor Sweeney
  • The constellation Draco (anguis, Serpens) was probably so 468 called from its fanciful likeness to a snake.

  • Just south of Serpens and Ophiuchus lies one of the most beautiful and easily recognized constellations in the heavens.

    Astronomy for Young Folks Isabel Martin Lewis
  • From here a line of fairly bright stars marks the course of Serpens southward to the hand of Ophiuchus.

    Astronomy for Young Folks Isabel Martin Lewis
  • Grandmother—ingress of Crab—conjunction of Scorpio with Serpens—moon in eleventh house.

  • The head of Serpens is the star group in the form of an "X" just below the Crown.

    A Field Book of the Stars William Tyler Olcott
  • Also look at the stars in the head of Serpens, several of which form a figure like a letter X.

    Astronomy with an Opera-glass Garrett Putman Serviss
British Dictionary definitions for Serpens


noun (Latin genitive) Serpentis (səˈpɛntɪs)
a faint extensive constellation situated in the N and S equatorial regions and divided into two parts, Serpens Caput (the head) lying between Ophiuchus and Boötes and Serpens Cauda (the tail) between Ophiuchus and Aquila
Word Origin
Latin: serpent
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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