Synonyms for viper

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Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

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For the wife of this viper she still was, and who could tell how soon she might not be in his power again?

Procinus, however, was spared to die of the bite of a viper.

I'll bet you that she's the mistress of that viper Fauchery!

He reminded me of a viper which I once killed in Beechcot Woods.

But now it was a viper—not a divine hope—it had nourished in its bosom.

She is a viper, this woman, but has the courage of the rattle-snake in action.

There are cobras and keraits, but the most dreaded is the Russell's viper.

In this district no Burman hesitates a moment in killing a viper when he has the chance.

It seemed to me, Humphrey, that when he spoke of the viper, he meant thee.

He was introduced as a smug little Pharisee, and they treated him as a viper.

WORD ORIGIN

1520s, from Middle French vipere, from Latin vipera "viper, snake, serpent," from vivus "alive, living" (see vital) + parere "bring forth, bear" (see pare). It formerly was believed (mistakenly) that the viper does not lay eggs. Applied to persons of spiteful character since at least 1590s. The only venomous snake found in Great Britain. Replaced native adder. "The flesh of the viper was formerly regarded as possessing great nutritive or restorative properties, and was frequently used medicinally" [OED]; hence viper wine, wine medicated with some kind of extract from vipers, used 17c. by "gray-bearded gallants" in a bid "to feele new lust, and youthfull flames agin."

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Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.