See also: Adder and ADDer

English

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The head of the common European adder (Vipera berus)
 
The sea stickleback or adder-fish (Spinachia spinachia)

Pronunciation

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Etymology 1

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From Middle English nadder, addere, rebracketing of “a naddere” as “an addere”, from Old English nǣdre (snake), from Proto-West Germanic *nadrā, from Proto-Germanic *nadrǭ, from pre-Germanic *néh₁treh₂, variant of Proto-Indo-European *n̥h₁trih₂, from *(s)neh₁- (to spin, twist)

See also West Frisian njirre, Dutch adder, German Natter, Otter; also Welsh neidr, Latin natrīx (watersnake), Dutch naaien.

Alternative forms

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Noun

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adder (plural adders)

  1. (obsolete) Any snake.
    • 1610–1611 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tempest”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act II, scene ii]:
      CALIBAN: His spirits hear me, / And yet I needs must curse. But they'll nor pinch / Fright me with urchin-shows, pitch me i'th' mire, / Nor lead me like a firebrand in the dark / Out of my way, unless he bid 'em; but / For every trifle are they set upon me, / Sometimes like apes that mow and chatter at me, / And after bite me; then like hedgehogs, which / Lie tumbling in my barefoot way, and mount / Their pricks at my footfall; sometimes am I / All wound with adders, who with their cloven tongues / Do hiss me into madness—
  2. A name loosely applied to various snakes more or less resembling the viper.
    1. (chiefly British) A small venomous serpent of the genus Vipera
      • 1834, L[etitia] E[lizabeth] L[andon], chapter XXX, in Francesca Carrara. [], volume III, London: Richard Bentley, [], (successor to Henry Colburn), →OCLC, page 245:
        Entirely filled with the image of another, her heart, indeed, had the deaf ear of the adder, which heedeth not the voice of the charmer, charm he never so wisely.
      • 2021 August 25, Nick Brodrick, “Flourishing Flora and Fauna”, in RAIL, number 938, page 51:
        These include the county's [Cumbria's] only venomous snake - the adder - which relies on exposed elements to successfully breed its young.
      1. The common European adder (Vipera berus).
    2. The puff adders, of Africa (genus Bitis).
    3. (US, Canada) Any of several small nonvenomous snakes resembling adders
      1. Lampropeltis triangulum (milk snake).
      2. Heterodon spp. (hog-nosed snakes), a genus of harmless colubrid snakes found in North America
    4. Certain venomous snakes resembling other adders
      1. Acanthophis spp. (death adders), elapid snakes found in Southeast Asia and Australia
      2. Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen, the northern copperhead, a venomous viper found in the eastern United States
    5. A sea stickleback or adder fish (Spinachia spinachia).
Derived terms
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Translations
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Etymology 2

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From add +‎ -er.

Noun

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adder (plural adders)

  1. Someone who or something which performs arithmetic addition; a machine for adding numbers.
  2. An electronic device that adds voltages, currents or frequencies.
  3. Something which adds or increases.
    They sought out cost adders with an eye toward eliminating them.
Derived terms
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Translations
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Further reading

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Anagrams

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Afrikaans

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Etymology

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From Dutch adder, from Middle Dutch adder, adre, misdivison of nadder, nadre, from Old Dutch *nadra, from Proto-Germanic *nadrǭ.

Pronunciation

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Noun

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adder (plural adders, diminutive addertjie)

  1. viper, adder

Dutch

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Etymology

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From Middle Dutch adder, adre, rebracketing of nadder, nadre, from Old Dutch *nadra, from Proto-West Germanic *nadrā.

Pronunciation

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Noun

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adder m or f (plural adders or adderen, diminutive addertje n)

  1. viper, adder; snake of the family Viperidae
  2. common viper, Vipera berus

Hypernyms

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Derived terms

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Descendants

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  • Afrikaans: adder
  • Negerhollands: adder

Anagrams

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Norwegian Bokmål

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Verb

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adder

  1. imperative of addere

Old Prussian

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Etymology

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Borrowed from Early German adder, dialectal variant of oder (or).

Conjunction

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adder

  1. or
  2. but, however
    • 1561, Martin Luther, translated by Abel Will & Paul Megott, Stas Likuts Catechismus [The Small Catechism], →OCLC, page 61, line 11:
      Kas ſtwi druwē bhe Crixtits
      wijrſt / ſtas wijrſt Deiwuts / kas adder ni Druwe /
      ſtas wijrſt perklantīts.
      That, who believes and is baptized, shall be blessed; that, however, who doesn't believe, shall be damned.
  3. only, but

References

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  • Mažiulis, Vytautas (1988) “adder”, in Prūsų kalbos etimologijos žodynas [Etymological dictionary of Old Prussian]‎[1] (in Lithuanian), volume 1, Vilnius: Mokslas, page 48