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 (băs′ə-lĭsk′, băz′-)
1. A legendary serpent or dragon with lethal breath and glance.
2. Any of various tropical American lizards of the genus Basiliscus, having a crest on the head and back and fringes of skin around the toes of the hind feet that enable it to run upright across the surface of water for short distances.

[Middle English, from Old French basilisc, from Latin basiliscus, from Greek basiliskos, a kind of extremely venomous snake with a bright crownlike mark on its head, from diminutive of basileus, king.]


1. (Classical Myth & Legend) (in classical legend) a serpent that could kill by its breath or glance
2. (Animals) any small arboreal semiaquatic lizard of the genus Basiliscus of tropical America: family Iguanidae (iguanas). The males have an inflatable head crest, used in display
3. (Firearms, Gunnery, Ordnance & Artillery) a 16th-century medium cannon, usually made of brass
[C14: from Latin basiliscus, from Greek basiliskos royal child, from basileus king]


(ˈbæs ə lɪsk, ˈbæz-)

1. a legendary creature, variously described as a serpent, lizard, or dragon, said to kill by its breath or look.
2. any of several tropical American iguanid lizards of the genus Basiliscus, noted for their ability to run across the surface of water on their hind legs.
[1250–1300; Middle English < Latin basiliscus < Greek basilískos princeling, basilisk]
bas`i•lis′can, adj.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.basilisk - (classical mythology) a serpent (or lizard or dragon) able to kill with its breath or glancebasilisk - (classical mythology) a serpent (or lizard or dragon) able to kill with its breath or glance
classical mythology - the system of mythology of the Greeks and Romans together; much of Roman mythology (especially the gods) was borrowed from the Greeks
mythical creature, mythical monster - a monster renowned in folklore and myth
2.basilisk - ancient brass cannonbasilisk - ancient brass cannon      
cannon - a large artillery gun that is usually on wheels
3.basilisk - small crested arboreal lizard able to run on its hind legsbasilisk - small crested arboreal lizard able to run on its hind legs; of tropical America
iguanid, iguanid lizard - lizards of the New World and Madagascar and some Pacific islands; typically having a long tail and bright throat patch in males
Basiliscus, genus Basiliscus - a reptile genus of Iguanidae


[ˈbæzɪlɪsk] Nbasilisco m


n (Myth, Zool) → Basilisk m
References in classic literature ?
He appears by his modest and unaffected narration to have described things as he saw them, to have copied nature from the life, and to have consulted his senses, not his imagination; he meets with no basilisks that destroy with their eyes, his crocodiles devour their prey without tears, and his cataracts fall from the rock without deafening the neighbouring inhabitants.
Art thou come, by chance, cruel basilisk of these mountains, to see if in thy presence blood will flow from the wounds of this wretched being thy cruelty has robbed of life; or is it to exult over the cruel work of thy humours that thou art come; or like another pitiless Nero to look down from that height upon the ruin of his Rome in embers; or in thy arrogance to trample on this ill-fated corpse, as the ungrateful daughter trampled on her father Tarquin's?
The basilisk had a bad eye, and its glance was fatal.
There is the country of the Amazons, and the country of the dwarfs, and the country of the fair but evil women who slay with beholding, like the basilisk.
Ah, cursed basilisk, it will be a happy day for me when I can cross something more than a look with you.
But to be quiet with such a basilisk before him was impossible.
It is true there were short and fleeting moments, when the fiery eyes of Magua were seen glittering, like the fabled organs of the basilisk through the dusty wreath by which he was enveloped, and he read by those short and deadly glances the fate of the combat in the presence of his enemies; ere, however, any hostile hand could descend on his devoted head, its place was filled by the scowling visage of Chingachgook.
Cross, who should shun the glance of a woman as the eye of a basilisk, live in open sin, not with the females of their own race only, but with the daughters of the accursed heathen, and more accursed Jew.
But no sooner did the Grandmother appear than the General stopped dead in the middle of a word, and, with jaw dropping, stared hard at the old lady--his eyes almost starting out of his head, and his expression as spellbound as though he had just seen a basilisk.
But at all the dismal dinners, leaden lunches, basilisk balls, and other melancholy pageants, her mere appearance is a relief.
Next Sunday the Tribe of Abalone Eaters will descend upon you here in Bierce's Cove, and you will be able to see the rites, the writers and writeresses, down even to the Iron Man with the basilisk eyes, vulgarly known as the King of the Sacerdotal Lizards.
Without softening very much the basilisk nature of his stare, he said impassively: