vi"per(v"pr), n. [F. vipre, 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.]
(Zol.) Any one of numerous species of Old World venomous snakes belonging to Vipera, Clotho, Daboia, and other genera of the family Viperid.
There came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand.Acts xxviii. 3.
Among the best-known species are the European adder (Pelias berus), the European asp (Vipera aspis), the African horned viper (Vipera cerastes), and the Indian viper (Daboia Russellii).
2. A dangerous, treacherous, or malignant person.
To such a viper his most sacred trust
3. Loosely, any venomous or presumed venomous snake.
(Zol.) See Cerastes. --
(Zol.), the copperhead. --
(Zol.), a small, slender, phosphorescent deep-sea fish (Chauliodus Sloanii). It has long ventral and dorsal fins, a large mouth, and very long, sharp teeth. --
(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. --
(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
Vi`per*i"na(?), n. pl. (Zol.) See Viperoidea.
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Fri 20th September 2019