sidewinder

[sahyd-wahyn-der]
noun
1.
a severe swinging blow from the side.
2.
a rattlesnake, Crotalus cerastes, of southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico, that has a hornlike projection over each eye and that moves in loose sand by raising loops on the body and displacing them sideways.
3.
any Old World snake that moves by sidewinding, as various species of Bitis and Cerastes.
4.
(initial capital letter) an air-to-air, supersonic weapon that intercepts and destroys enemy aircraft using an infrared homing-guidance system.

Origin:
1830–40; side1 + winder

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
sidewinder (ˈsaɪdˌwaɪndə)
 
n
1.  a North American rattlesnake, Crotalus cerastes, that moves forwards by a sideways looping motion
2.  (US) boxing a heavy swinging blow from the side
3.  a US air-to-air missile using infrared homing aids in seeking its target

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

sidewinder
"species of rattlesnake," 1875, Amer.Eng., from side + agent noun of wind (v.), so called in ref. to its "peculiar lateral progressive motion."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
But in the water, goes back to the sidewinder motion of a tail-propelled river creature.
When the truck is filled, the load line valves are closed and the sidewinder valve is opened.
Worker was test-starting an engine to put in sidewinder.
Additionally, various rattlesnakes inhabit the area, of which the sidewinder is unique.
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