Definition of boomslang in English:



  • A large, highly venomous southern African tree snake, the male of which is bright green and the female dull olive brown.

    Dispholidus typus, family Colubridae

    • ‘And to honey badgers, cobras and large-eyed tree snakes called boomslangs, the nest is a dependable larder.’
    • ‘He added that while the majority of snakes in our area are non-venomous, the ones people should worry about are the boomslangs, puffadders and night adders.’
    • ‘Some boomslangs and Cape cobras appear to live for months on nothing but weaver eggs and chicks, and will even curl up in a nest and make it their home.’
    • ‘Unusually late summer rains had allowed them to outlast the boomslang, and on their ninth try, one chick lived long enough to fledge.’
    • ‘I wondered if this was perhaps a boomslang, or even a green mamba, although I think we are too far south for the mamba species.’
    • ‘On the night drive that evening, we saw a leopard, the animal I had most wanted to see, and had a well-camouflaged boomslang snake in a tree pointed out.’


Late 18th century from Afrikaans, from Dutch boom ‘tree’ + slang ‘snake’.