A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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View Scan · View Transcription · from page 1867

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 1867

Snake. n.s. [ꞅnaca; snake, Dutch.] A serpent of the oviparous kind, distinguished from a viper. The snake's bite is harmless. Snake in poetry is a general term for a viper.

        Glo'ster's shew beguiles him;
As the snake, roll'd in a flow'ry bank,
With shining checker'd slough, doth sting a child,
That for the beauty thinks it excellent.
Shakes. Hen. VI.

We have scotch'd the snake, not killed it:
She'll close, and be herself; whilst our poor malice
Remains in danger of her former teeth.
Shakesp. Macbeth.

The parts must have their outlines in waves, resembling the gliding of a snake upon the ground: they must be smooth and even. Dryden's Dufresnoy.

Nor chalk, nor crumbling stones, the food of snakes
That work in hollow earth their winding tracks.

Sources: Dryden, John (788) · Shakespeare's Henry VI, Part 2 (49) · Shakespeare's Macbeth (136)

Attributes: Dutch (90) · Noun Substantive (1269) · Saxon (215)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Snake." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: May 12, 2014. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/snake/.

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