fer-de-lance (fĕr′dl-ăns, -äns)
n. pl. fer-de-lance
Any of several tropical American pit vipers of the genus Bothrops, typically having brown and grayish markings.
[French, from fer de lance, spearhead : fer, iron + de, of + lance, spear.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.