a banded krait (Bungarus fasciatus)

Alternative formsEdit


Borrowed from Hindi करैत (karait), possibly from the Oraon (a tribal community spread across Jharkhand, Odisha and Chattisgarh) tribal language in which this species is known as such. Sanskrit काल (kāla, black).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /kɹaɪt/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aɪt


krait (plural kraits)

  1. Any of several brightly-coloured, venomous snakes, of the genus Bungarus, of southeast Asia.
    • 1871 December, Dr. J. Ewart, “How the bite of snakes―supposed to be poisonous―may be cured”, in The Australian Medical Gazette:
      On visiting the General Hospital, on the morning of the 22nd of August, I was informed that one of the punkah coolies had been bitten about 8.30 p.m., the night before, by a krait, whose venom is virulently poisonous.
    • 2007, A. Philip Parham, Feeling Free[1], page 190]:
      Now, if you run into one of these kraits, you better NOT run away else you're a goner. It'll catch you for sure and you will die in your tracks.
    • 2009, Kate Jackson, Mean and Lowly Things: Snakes, Science, and Survival in the Congo[2], page 295:
      Very much in my thoughts is Joe Slowinski, a herpetologist killed a few years earlier by a misidentified juvenile krait, a snake so small that he couldn't tell if the fang had punctured the skin.
    • 2011, Lisa Kemmerer, Animals and World Religions[3], page 71:
      India has a healthy share of poisonous snakes, including kraits, cobras, and two species of vipers, yet Hindu traditions are overwhelmingly snake-friendly.

Derived termsEdit


Further readingEdit