• WordNet 3.6
    • n Crotalus large rattlesnakes; seldom bite unless startled or pursuing prey
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Crotalus (Zoöl) A genus of poisonous serpents, including the rattlesnakes.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n crotalus The typical genus of rattlesnakes of the subfamily Crotalinæ, having most of the top of the head covered with scales like those of the back, a well-developed rattle, and the scutes under the tail (subcaudal) entire. It contains the largest rattlers, as C. durissus, the banded rattlesnake, and C. adamanteus, the diamond rattlesnake, two species found in eastern parts of the United States; C. confluentus, the commonest and most widely distributed rattler of the western parts of the United States; C. molossus, the black rattlesnake; C. pyrrhus, the rare red rattlesnake; and others. Also sometimes called Caudisona; in this case the name Crotalus is transferred to the genus otherwise called Crotalophorus. See also cut under rattlesnake.
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
NL., fr. Gr. rattle


In literature:

For this purpose Mr. Bernard considered it necessary to get a live crotalus or two into his possession, if this were possible.
"Elsie Venner" by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
I make this statement as to the fatality of crotalus poison advisedly.
"Scientific American Supplement, No. 841, February 13, 1892" by Various
We, too, are frightened, for we hear the dreaded rattle of the crotalus!
"The Scalp Hunters" by Mayne Reid
Referring to Plate I, we find, in exactly the same relative situation, the forked tongue and the rattles of the crotalus.
"Studies in Central American Picture-Writing" by Edward S. Holden