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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.
31) Also according to Birkhead, hermaphroditic cockerels were thought to have bred cockatrices, dragon-like creatures with the head of a rooster that, if stared at, would turn one into stone.
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).