Dictionary > Basilisk


1. 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. (Shak)
2. (Science: zoology) a lizard of the genus Basiliscus, belonging to the family Iguanidae.
this genus is remarkable for a membranous bag rising above the occiput, which can be filled with air at pleasure; also for an elevated crest along the back, that can be raised or depressed at will.
3. A large piece of ordnance, so called from its supposed resemblance to the serpent of that name, or from its size.
Origin: L. Basiliscus, gr. Little king, kind of serpent, dim. Of king; so named from some prominences on the head resembling a crown.