fer-de-lance

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n fer-de-lance large extremely venomous pit viper of Central America and South America
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Fer-de-lance (Zoöl) A large, venomous serpent (Trigonocephalus lanceolatus) of Brazil and the West Indies. It is allied to the rattlesnake, but has no rattle.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n fer-de-lance The lanceheaded or yellow viper, Craspedocephalus (or Bothrops)lanceolatus, of the family Crotalidæ, a large and very venomous serpent of the warm parts of America. It is from 5 to 7 feet long, and is capable of making considerable springs when in pursuit of prey or of some object which has irritated it. Its bite is often fatal, the only antidote of any avail seeming to be, as in the case of bites of other venomous snakes, ardent spirits. This serpent infests sugar-plantations in the West India islands, and is dreaded alike by man and beast. The tail ends in a horny spine, which scrapes harshly against rough objects, but does not rattle. See cut under Craspedocephalus.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Fer-de-lance fār′de-längs′ the lance-headed or yellow viper of tropical America.
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F., the iron of a lance, lance head

Usage

In literature:

These Fer-de-lances, be that as it may, are a great pest in St. Lucia.
"At Last" by Charles Kingsley
He is either a fer de lance or a first cousin to it, and either is a sort of creature to keep away from.
"The Hilltop Boys on Lost Island" by Cyril Burleigh
It's the home of the fer-de-lance.
"Plotting in Pirate Seas" by Francis Rolt-Wheeler
I forget how many of the fer de lance sort he told me he had killed in the rooms since he had lived in them.
"The English in the West Indies" by James Anthony Froude
The fer-de-lance has one fatal enemy.
"Equatorial America" by Maturin M. Ballou
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