1 [ad-er]
the common European viper, Vipera berus.
any of various other venomous or harmless snakes resembling the viper.

before 950; late Middle English; replacing Middle English nadder (a nadder becoming an adder by misdivision; cf. apron), Old English næddre; cognate with Old Saxon nādra, Old High German nātara (German Natter), Old Norse nathra snake, Gothic nadrs adder, Old Irish nathir snake, Latin natrix water snake Unabridged


2 [ad-er]
a person or thing that adds.

1570–80; add + -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
adder1 (ˈædə)
1.  Also called: viper a common viper, Vipera berus, that is widely distributed in Europe, including Britain, and Asia and is typically dark greyish in colour with a black zigzag pattern along the back
2.  any of various similar venomous or nonvenomous snakes
[Old English nǣdre snake; in Middle English a naddre was mistaken for an addre; related to Old Norse nathr, Gothic nadrs]

adder2 (ˈædə)
a person or thing that adds, esp a single element of an electronic computer, the function of which is to add a single digit of each of two inputs

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

O.E. næddre "a snake," from W.Gmc. *nædro "a snake" (cf. O.N. naðra, M.Du. nadre, Ger. Natter, Goth. nadrs), from PIE base *netr- (cf. L. natrix "water snake," probably by folk-association with nare "to swim;" O.Ir. nathir, Welsh neidr "adder"). The modern form represents a faulty separation
14c.-16c. into an adder, for which see also apron, auger, nickname, humble pie, umpire. Nedder is still a northern Eng. dialect form. Folklore connection with deafness is via Psalm lviii.1-5. The adder is said to stop up its ears to avoid hearing the snake charmer called in to drive it away, though whether this tradition can account for the O.T. reference I cannot say. Adder-bolt (late 15c.) was a former name for "dragonfly."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Bible Dictionary

Adder definition

(Ps. 140:3; Rom. 3:13, "asp") is the rendering of, (1.) Akshub ("coiling" or "lying in wait"), properly an asp or viper, found only in this passage. (2.) Pethen ("twisting"), a viper or venomous serpent identified with the cobra (Naja haje) (Ps. 58:4; 91:13); elsewhere "asp." (3.) Tziphoni ("hissing") (Prov. 23:32); elsewhere rendered "cockatrice," Isa. 11:8; 14:29; 59:5; Jer. 8:17, as it is here in the margin of the Authorized Version. The Revised Version has "basilisk." This may have been the yellow viper, the Daboia xanthina, the largest and most dangerous of the vipers of Palestine. (4.) Shephiphon ("creeping"), occurring only in Gen. 49:17, the small speckled venomous snake, the "horned snake," or cerastes. Dan is compared to this serpent, which springs from its hiding-place on the passer-by.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Example sentences
Right then came an adder out of a little heath-bush, and stung a knight on the foot.
Right so came an adder out of a little heath bush, and it stung a knight on the foot.
The display is mostly bluff, but gives the snake the common name of puff adder.
Adder-hipped and puff-lipped, he possesses a beauty that seems almost fanged.
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