/mok"euh sin, -zeuhn/, n.1. a heelless shoe made entirely of soft leather, as deerskin, with the sole brought up and attached to a piece of U-shaped leather on top of the foot, worn originally by the American Indians.2. a hard-soled shoe or slipper resembling this, often decorated with beads.3. any of several North American snakes of the genus Agkistrodon (Ancistrodon), esp. the cottonmouth.[1605-15, Amer.; < Virginia Algonquian < Proto-Algonquian *maxkeseni]
* * *Either of two species of pit viper: the water moccasin or the Mexican moccasin (Agkistrodon bilineatus).The Mexican moccasin, or cantil, is a dangerous snake of lowland regions from the Rio Grande to Nicaragua. About 3 ft (1 m) long, it is brown or black with narrow, irregular, whitish bars on its back and sides. See also copperhead.
* * *▪ shoeheelless shoe of soft leather, the sole of which may be hard or soft and flexible; in soft-soled moccasins, the sole is brought up the sides of the foot and over the toes, where it is joined by a puckered seam to a U-shaped piece lying on top of the foot. The upper part of the moccasin is often adorned with embroidery, beading, or other ornament.From earliest times the moccasin was the footwear of North American Indians (American Indian) and was also worn by hunters, traders, and settlers. In the second half of the 20th century, moccasins became a popular sport and casual shoe. The term can also apply to slip-on shoes with a lap seam on the forefront of the vamp, imitating the seam of the true moccasin.▪ snakeeither of two venomous aquatic New World snakes of the viper family (Viperidae): the water moccasin (Agkistrodon piscivorus) or the Mexican moccasin (A. bilineatus). Both are pit vipers (subfamily Crotalinae), so named because of the characteristic sensory pit between each eye and nostril.The water moccasin inhabits marshy lowlands of the southeastern United States. It is also known as the cottonmouth, because it threatens with the mouth open, showing the white interior. It measures up to 1.5 metres (5 feet) in length and is brown with darker crossbands or completely black. A dangerous snake with a potentially lethal bite, the cottonmouth tends to stand its ground or move slowly away when alarmed. It eats almost any small animal, including turtles, fish, frogs, and birds.The Mexican moccasin, or cantil, is found in lowland regions from the Rio Grande to Nicaragua. It is a dangerous snake and is brown or black with narrow irregular whitish bars on its back and sides. It is usually about 1 metre (3.3 feet) long. Moccasins are live-bearers (viviparous) rather than egg layers. For highland moccasin, see copperhead.
* * *