- skip - Brewer’s

Cockʹatrice (3 syl.)


A monster with the wings of a fowl, tail of a dragon and head of a cock. So called because it was said to be produced from a cock’s egg hatched by a serpent. According to legend, the very look of this monster would cause instant death. In consequence of the crest with which the head is crowned, the creature is called a basilisk, from the Greek, basiliskos (a little king). Isaiah says, “The weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice den” (xi. 8), to signify that the most noxious animal should not hurt the most feeble of God’s creatures.


Figuratively, it means an insidious, treacherous person bent on mischief.

“They will kill one another by the look, like cockatrices.”—Shakespeare: Twelfth Night, iii. 4.

previous entry · index · next entry


Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

previous entry · index · next entry

Cock Lane Ghost
Cock Sure
Cock the Ears (To)
Cock the Nose
Cock up your Head [foot, etc.]
Cock your Eye (To)
Cock your Hat (To)
Cockaigne (Land of)
Cocked Hat (A)
Cocked-hat Club (The)
Cockie or Cocky
Cockle Hat
Cockle Shells
Cockles of the Heart
Cockledemoy (A)

Linking here:


See Also: