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Wordswarms From Years Past

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V agnus castus
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V cerastes definitions

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Viper Vi"per, n. [F. vip[`e]re, L. vipera, probably contr. fr. vivipera; vivus alive + parere to bring forth, because it was believed to be the only serpent that brings forth living young. Cf. Quick, a., Parent, Viviparous, Wivern, Weever.] 1. (Zo["o]l.) Any one of numerous species of Old World venomous makes belonging to Vipera, Clotho, Daboia, and other genera of the family Viperid[ae]. There came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand. --Acts xxviii. 3. Note: Among the best-known species are the European adder (Pelias berus), the European asp (Vipera aspis), the African horned viper (V. cerastes), and the Indian viper (Daboia Russellii). 2. A dangerous, treacherous, or malignant person. Who committed To such a viper his most sacred trust Of secrecy. --Milton. Horned viper. (Zo["o]l.) See Cerastes. Red viper (Zo["o]l.), the copperhead. Viper fish (Zo["o]l.), a small, slender, phosphorescent deep-sea fish (Chauliodus Sloanii). It has long ventral and dorsal fins, a large mouth, and very long, sharp teeth. Viper's bugloss (Bot.), a rough-leaved biennial herb (Echium vulgare) having showy purplish blue flowers. It is sometimes cultivated, but has become a pestilent weed in fields from New York to Virginia. Also called blue weed. Viper's grass (Bot.), a perennial composite herb (Scorzonera Hispanica) with narrow, entire leaves, and solitary heads of yellow flowers. The long, white, carrot-shaped roots are used for food in Spain and some other countries. Called also viper grass.


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