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 (kŏk′ə-trĭs, -trīs′)
n. Mythology
A serpent hatched from a cock's egg and having the power to kill by its glance.

[Middle English cocatrice, basilisk, from Old French cocatris, from Medieval Latin cocātrīx, cocātrīc-, possibly alteration of calcātrīx (translation of Greek ikhneumōn, tracker), from Latin calcāre, to track, from calx, calc-, heel.]


(ˈkɒkətrɪs; -ˌtraɪs)
1. (European Myth & Legend) a legendary monster, part snake and part cock, that could kill with a glance
2. (Classical Myth & Legend) another name for basilisk1
[C14: from Old French cocatris, from Medieval Latin cocatrix, from Late Latin calcātrix trampler, tracker (translating Greek ikhneumon ichneumon), from Latin calcāre to tread, from calx heel]


(ˈkɒk ə trɪs)

1. a legendary monster, part serpent and part fowl, that could kill with a glance.
2. a venomous serpent. Isa. 11:8.
[1350–1400; cocatrice < Middle French cocatris < Medieval Latin caucātrīces (pl.), Latin *calcātrīx, feminine of *calcātor tracker]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.cockatrice - monster hatched by a reptile from a cock's eggcockatrice - monster hatched by a reptile from a cock's egg; able to kill with a glance
mythical creature, mythical monster - a monster renowned in folklore and myth


nBasilisk m
References in classic literature ?
It is pleasant to know that a new ministry just come into office are not the only fellow-men who enjoy a period of high appreciation and full-blown eulogy; in many respectable families throughout this realm, relatives becoming creditable meet with a similar cordiality of recognition, which in its fine freedom from the coercion of any antecedents, suggests the hopeful possibility that we may some day without any notice find ourselves in full millennium, with cockatrices who have ceased to bite, and wolves that no longer show their teeth with any but the blandest intentions.
The three parts of Henry VI and Richard III, combined, mention at least thirty-two different species, from the peaceful dove to the predatory eagle, as well as bird-like creatures, like the cockatrice, that made their way into English folklore, (2) with which Shakespeare's playgoers would have also been familiar.
In several medieval and post-medieval works, even in bestiaries that had a separate lemma for the basilisk itself, the creature also appeared under a number of other names, especially regulus and cockatrice.
viper, a beast, a mad dog, a snake, and a cockatrice .
You may call her a courtesan, a cockatrice, or (as that worthy spirit of an eternal happiness said) a suppository.
In the future, when the planets are aligned and the child can put its hand into the den of the cockatrice, the football teams from University of Utah and Brigham Young University and their fans will no longer be joined at the hip like dysfunctional Siamese twins.
Dekker also advises his gallant to "prouide your selfe a lodging by the water-side: for aboue the conueniencie it brings, to shun Shoulder-clapping, and to ship away your Cockatrice betimes in the morning it addes a kind of state vnto you, to be carried from thence to the staires of your Play-house" (C3v-C4r), and his preceding chapter ends with a reference to some who are going to "the new play .
There are the five varieties of dragon, the familiar but rarest and most powerful Red Dragon that is particularly hostile to the deadly White Dragon from across Offa's Dyke, its cousin the Wyvern that once terrorised Newcastle Emlyn, the venomous common Gwiber found near waterfalls, the little Cockatrice that can be killed by its own reflection and the scaly water-dwelling Afanc that can hurl a spear.
The passages in Isaiah, "They hatch cockatrice's eggs and weave the spider's web: he that eateth of their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper" (Isaiah, 59:5), and Jeremiah, "For, behold, I will send serpents, cockatrices, among you, which will not be charmed, and they shall bite you, saith the Lord" (Jeremiah 8:17) underscore the basilisk's treatment in Christianity as an emblem of sin and the spirit of evil, a wickedly fascinating serpent similar to that which tempted Eve in the book of Genesis (Breiner 115).
Some of the most compelling animals exist in the imagination, be they the snake-tailed rooster from Greek antiquity known as the cockatrice or the water deity know to Hindu and Buddhist cultures as the naga.