1 [sur-puhn-teen, -tahyn]
of, characteristic of, or resembling a serpent, as in form or movement.
having a winding course, as a road; sinuous.
shrewd, wily, or cunning.
a device on a harquebus lock for holding the match.
a cannon having any of various bore sizes, used from the 15th to the 17th century.
Skating. a school figure made by skating two figure eights that share one loop.
verb (used without object), serpentined, serpentining.
to make or follow a winding course: The stream serpentines through the valley.

1350–1400; Middle English (adj.) < Latin serpentīnus snakelike, equivalent to serpent- serpent + -īnus ine1

2. twisting, snaking, tortuous. Unabridged


2 [sur-puhn-teen, -tahyn]
a common mineral, hydrous magnesium silicate, H 2 Mg 3 Si 2 O 2 , usually oily green and sometimes spotted, occurring in many varieties: used for architectural and decorative purposes.

1350–1400; Middle English serpentyn < Medieval Latin serpentīnum, noun use. of neuter of serpentīnus serpentine1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
serpentine1 (ˈsɜːpənˌtaɪn)
1.  of, relating to, or resembling a serpent
2.  twisting; winding
3.  maths a curve that is symmetric about the origin of and asymptotic to the x-axis
[C14: from Late Latin serpentīnus, from serpēnsserpent]

serpentine2 (ˈsɜːpənˌtaɪn)
1.  a dark green or brown mineral with a greasy or silky lustre, found in igneous and metamorphic rocks. It is used as an ornamental stone; and one variety (chrysotile) is known as asbestos. Composition: hydrated magnesium silicate. Formula: Mg3Si2O5(OH)4. Crystal structure: monoclinic
2.  any of a group of minerals having the general formula (Mg,Fe)3Si2O5(OH)4
[C15 serpentyn, from Medieval Latin serpentīnumserpentine1; referring to the snakelike patterns of these minerals]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1400, "plant reputed to contain antivenom," from O.Fr. serpentin (fem. serpentine), from L.L. serpentius "of a serpent," from L. serpentem (nom. serpens) "snake" (see serpent). As the name of a greenish mineral, attested from early 15c. The adj. meaning "twisting, winding"
first recorded 1610s (an earlier adj. meaning "having the evil qualities of a serpent" is recorded from late 14c.). The winding lake of that name in Hyde Park, London, was constructed in 1730.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
serpentine   (sûr'pən-tēn', -tīn')  Pronunciation Key 
Any of a group of greenish, brownish, or yellowish monoclinic minerals, occurring in igneous or metamorphic rocks. They are used as a source of magnesium and asbestos. Chemical formula: (Mg,Fe)3Si2O5(OH)4.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Researchers descend by truck through a serpentine mine shaft.
Most modern automobiles have a long, serpentine belt that winds intricately
  through the engine compartment.
The aroma of fresh-cut cedar lingers in the air at the serpentine wall.
Serpentine soils are known for harboring unusual plant species capable of
  growing in the soils' naturally toxic conditions.
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