• WordNet 3.6
    • n basilisk small crested arboreal lizard able to run on its hind legs; of tropical America
    • n basilisk ancient brass cannon
    • n basilisk (classical mythology) a serpent (or lizard or dragon) able to kill with its breath or glance
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Basilisk A fabulous serpent, or dragon. The ancients alleged that its hissing would drive away all other serpents, and that its breath, and even its look, was fatal. See Cockatrice. "Make me not sighted like the basilisk ."
    • Basilisk (Mil) A large piece of ordnance, so called from its supposed resemblance to the serpent of that name, or from its size.
    • Basilisk (Zoöl) A lizard of the genus Basiliscus, belonging to the family Iguanidæ.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n basilisk A fabulous creature formerly believed to exist, variously regarded as a kind of serpent, lizard, or dragon, and sometimes identified with the cockatrice. It inhabited the deserts of Africa, and its breath and even its look were fatal. In heraldry it is represented as an animal resembling the cockatrice, with its tail terminating in a dragon's head; hence formerly also called amphisien cockatrice, as having two heads. See amphisien.
    • n basilisk In herpetology, a lizard of the old genus Basiliscus (which see) in the widest sense.
    • n basilisk In ornithology, the golden-crested wren or kinglet. See basiliscus, 2.
    • n basilisk A large piece of ordnance: so called from its destructive power. It varied greatly in size and style at different times. In the fifteenth century it is spoken of as throwing stone balls of the weight of 200 pounds, and was therefore of prodigious caliber. D'Aubigné in his History speaks of them as carrying stone balls of 300 pounds, but it is not certain which standard he has in view. In the seventeenth century it was a smaller gun, but still one of the largest then in use. See basilica, 5.
    • basilisk Pertaining to or characteristic of the basilisk: as, a basilisk eye or look (a sharp, penetrating,malignant eye or look, like that attributed to the basilisk).
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Basilisk baz′il-isk a fabulous creature, about a foot long, with a black-and-yellow skin and fiery red eyes, so named, according to Pliny, from the crest on the head like a crown—variously regarded as a kind of dragon or cockatrice: in modern zoology, a harmless crested lizard of tropical South America: an ancient brass cannon throwing a shot of about 200 lb. weight.
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. basiliscus, Gr. basili`skos little king, kind of serpent, dim. of basiley`s king; -- so named from some prominences on the head resembling a crown.]
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. basiliskos, dim. of basileus, a king.


In literature:

Basilisk-glance of the Barouche-and-four.
"Sartor Resartus, and On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History" by Thomas Carlyle
She did not cease to look like a basilisk, but she began to look like a basilisk who has had a good lunch.
"The Girl on the Boat" by Pelham Grenville Wodehouse
At any rate, she rose from her ambush a very basilisk; her eyes, usually so languid, flashed fire, and her forehead was red with indignation.
"The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 101, March, 1866" by Various
A poor little glove lay on the table; and both women eyed it like basilisks a moment.
"The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 102, April, 1866" by Various
Roach changed the basilisk gaze with which he had regarded him to a vacant stare.
"Prisoners of Hope" by Mary Johnston
It is true, our nature is so crafty that it worms itself through everything; a selfish sight is like the basilisk's, it destroys.
"The Autobiography of Madame Guyon" by Jeanne Marie Bouvier de La Motte Guyon
For, behold, I will send serpents, basilisks, among you, which will not be charmed; and they shall bite you, saith the LORD.
"Select Masterpieces of Biblical Literature" by Various
"Seek and Find" by Oliver Optic
Beria looks up, and basilisks die of terror; Be not amazed; 'tis a sight that would Satan affright.
"Jewish Literature and Other Essays" by Gustav Karpeles
The former may have thought her eye as good as that of the basilisk, but found the eye of Miss Haskell much harder.
"The Art of Disappearing" by John Talbot Smith
Her eyes are not directed that way: they are gazing with a basilisk glance into the eyes of the hunter.
"The Wild Huntress" by Mayne Reid
If there was an emblem peculiarly abhorrent to the Basilisk (the Device of Basel) it was the Crescent-and-star.
"Holbein" by Beatrice Fortescue
His face had for me a miserable, basilisk-like attraction.
"The First Violin" by Jessie Fothergill
The fabled effects of the basilisk, the serpent, and the evil eye, have probably all some facts for their foundation.
"Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 57, No. 352, February 1845" by Various
The legend of the Basilisk is, of course, of classic origin.
"A Danish Parsonage" by John Fulford Vicary
Basilisks' eyes were around us, and we trod a path beset with serpents.
"Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 2, No. 12, May, 1851." by Various
They killed by the sight like basilisks; a chance view of one of those boatwomen was a crime to be wiped out with blood.
"The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 18 (of 25)" by Robert Louis Stevenson
Its basilisk stare looks out from its furtive, drooping head, and its commands ring out in a roar of magnificent displeasure.
"In the Brooding Wild" by Ridgwell Cullum
It is a little monster, a little basilisk, that sits in yonder room, in the shape of a lovely woman.
"Specimens of German Romance; Vol. II. Master Flea" by Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann
In that egg lies a basilisk.
"Hans Andersen's Fairy Tales" by Hans Christian Andersen

In poetry:

And shield the deadly serpent,
The basilisk of sin,
That far exhales its pois'nous breath,
Then crawls its den within.
"Needs And Powers" by Jared Barhite
But you can read the Hieroglyphs on the
great sandstone obelisks,
And you have talked with Basilisks, and you
have looked on Hippogriffs.
"The Sphinx" by Oscar Wilde
For see, my friend goes shaling and white;
He eyes me as the basilisk:
I have turned, it appears, his day to night,
Eclipsing his sun's disk.
"A Light Woman" by Robert Browning
Because they soon infect all those,
Who dare approach them, with their clothes:
Thus whom the basilisk espies,
At once is murder'd by his eyes.
"Another On The Same Occasion" by Rees Prichard
Than Basilisk or Nenuphar more fair,
Your Locks with countless glistening Pendants glare,
Then as the Fountain patters to the brim
A hundred Hairpins tumble from your Hair.
"The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám Jr." by Wallace Irwin
It's one of them horrid basilisks
You read about. They say a man risks
His life to touch it, but I guess I've sucked it
Out by now. Lucky I chucked it
Away from you.
I guess you'll do."
"The Book Of Hours Of Sister Clotilde" by Amy Lowell

In news:

Race and gender through the generations are seen through women's eyes in the Looking for Lilith production of Hunting the Basilisk , which opens on Friday.
Hunting the Basilisk performances will go on June 3, 4, 9, 10, and 11 at 7:30 pm each night.
Race and gender through the generations are seen through women's eyes in the Looking for Lilith production of Hunting the Basilisk, which opens on Friday.