Student Dictionary

One entry found for python.
Main Entry: py·thon
Pronunciation: primarystresspimacr-secondarystressthän, -thschwan
Function: noun
Etymology: named for Python, a monstrous serpent in Greek Legend
: any of various large nonpoisonous snakes especially of Africa, Asia, and Australia that squeeze and suffocate their prey and include some of the largest snakes living at the present time
Word History Python in Greek legend, was the name of a monstrous serpent that lived in the caves of Mt. Parnassus near the town of Delphi. This serpent attacked the mother of the god Apollo. Zeus, fortunately, came to her aid and removed her to a place of safety. Later, Apollo sought revenge for the attack. With bow and arrow he hunted the dreaded Python. After struggling with and finally slaying the serpent, Apollo buried it in the temple at Delphi. To celebrate this victory a festival of games was held, including athletic and musical contests and a dramatic performance of Apollo's slaying of Python. These games continued to be held every four years until the 4th century A.D. They were called the Pythian games and ranked second to the Olympic games in popularity. Its was not until the 19th century that the word python was used for a large snake that crushes its prey.
[python illustration]

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