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serpentine1

[sur-puh n-teen, -tahyn] /ˈsɜr pənˌtin, -ˌtaɪn/
adjective
1.
of, characteristic of, or resembling a serpent, as in form or movement.
2.
having a winding course, as a road; sinuous.
3.
shrewd, wily, or cunning.
noun
4.
a device on a harquebus lock for holding the match.
5.
a cannon having any of various bore sizes, used from the 15th to the 17th century.
6.
Skating. a school figure made by skating two figure eights that share one loop.
verb (used without object), serpentined, serpentining.
7.
to make or follow a winding course:
The stream serpentines through the valley.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English (adj.) < Latin serpentīnus snakelike, equivalent to serpent- serpent + -īnus ine1
Synonyms
2. twisting, snaking, tortuous.

serpentine2

[sur-puh n-teen, -tahyn] /ˈsɜr pənˌtin, -ˌtaɪn/
noun
1.
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.
Origin
1350-1400; Middle English serpentyn < Medieval Latin serpentīnum, noun use. of neuter of serpentīnus serpentine1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for serpentine
  • 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.
  • These are driven by a long serpentine belt attached to the engine.
  • Four flights you must travel, and then down several serpentine corridors, before you finally come to his office.
  • Back then, my unit escorted long, serpentine supply convoys through the city.
  • Vultures appeared beyond the bank, hissing and pecking, claiming places at the dinner table with their serpentine necks.
  • Hot air balloons float above and mountain bikers zoom along the serpentine paths.
  • Strange serpentine creatures slither through the vines and leaves.
British Dictionary definitions for serpentine

serpentine1

/ˈsɜːpənˌtaɪn/
adjective
1.
of, relating to, or resembling a serpent
2.
twisting; winding
noun
3.
(maths) a curve that is symmetric about the origin of and asymptotic to the x-axis
Word Origin
C14: from Late Latin serpentīnus, from serpēnsserpent

serpentine2

/ˈsɜːpənˌtaɪn/
noun
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
Word Origin
C15 serpentyn, from Medieval Latin serpentīnumserpentine1; referring to the snakelike patterns of these minerals
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 serpentine
n.

c.1400, "plant reputed to contain antivenom," from Old French serpentin name of a precious stone, noun use of adjective meaning "of a snake, snake-like; sly, deceptive," from Late Latin serpentius "of a serpent," from Latin serpentem (nominative serpens) "snake" (see serpent). As the name of a greenish igneous rock consisting mainly of hydrous magnesium silicate, attested from early 15c.

adj.

"twisting, winding," 1610s; see serpent + -ine (1). An earlier adjective meaning "having the evil qualities of a serpent" is recorded from late 14c., from the French source of serpentine (n.). The winding lake of that name in Hyde Park, London, was constructed in 1730.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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serpentine in Science
serpentine
  (sûr'pən-tēn', -tīn')   
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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