Is there any word that comes to mind if you were to see a statue that is very like a dragon? The first ideas I had were dragonoid, draconoid, draconian, and draconic, but save for draconian none of those are words, and draconian has nothing to do with dragons.

  • I have no idea what 'very like a dragon' actually is: I am unfortunate enough only to have seen artists' impressions of them. Dec 10, 2014 at 18:23
  • dragonoid, draconoid, and draconic are not recognized as words by my spell-checker. Oddly enough, except for draconoid they appear to be. Dec 10, 2014 at 18:24
  • dragonesque!....
    – Oldcat
    Dec 10, 2014 at 18:29
  • I seem to remember CS Lewis used the word 'dragonish' in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
    – Mynamite
    Dec 10, 2014 at 20:04

2 Answers 2


How about draconic?

You could also try serpentine (going off another name for / type of dragon).

Edit: Sorry, I missed that you had draconic in your list already. I still think that's the best one...

  • Whoa, that's odd. I thought draconic wasn't a word because according to spell-check it isn't. That's perfect then. Dec 10, 2014 at 18:21
  • I don't recognise that wyrmish (nor does my dictionary). Were you thinking of wivernish? That's also not in my dictionary, but they do have wivern - Heraldry. A representation of a chimerical animal imagined as a winged dragon with two feet like those of an eagle, and a serpent-like, barbed tail. Dec 10, 2014 at 18:47
  • @AlphaMCubed At best, treat a spell-check flag as a suggestion to double-check a word, not as a mark of invalidity. No spellchecker word list is comprehensive.
    – choster
    Dec 10, 2014 at 19:19
  • @FumbleFingers you got me. I was sure a wyrm is a thing, and I would've gone for wyvern instead of wivern. I've removed the contentious word from my answer until I have a chance to do more research.
    – m-smith
    Dec 10, 2014 at 20:12
  • I got sidetracked onto something else earlier, but my first thought after posting the earlier comment was that although I don't often see the word wivern, I had a vague sense it was usually a bit more "exotic" than that. Checking now, I find Google NGrams confirms that it's more often spelt wyvern Dec 10, 2014 at 20:54

This article about dracontology (the study of lake animals unknown to science such as the Loch Ness Monster, not dragons as such), points out that the word is...

a kissing cousin to the almost equally rare adjectives draconiform and dracontine, both of which refer to a thing like a dragon.
(Draconian, of some law or punishment that is excessively severe, comes instead from Draco, an Athenian legislator of the seventh century BC who made Attila the Hun look like a pussycat.)

The full OED (for which I can't usefully provide a link) has these two definitions...

draconiform - resembling a dragon in shape
dracontine - of the nature of, or belonging to, a dragon

Until just now I had no idea draconian and draconiform had different etymologies.

  • Nice! I love that. Her dracontine wings shimmered in the moonlight.
    – m-smith
    Dec 10, 2014 at 18:48
  • @LordScree: I don't know the exact difference between dragonflies and damselflies (or even if there is one). But perhaps a better image for your context might be Her damselfly wings shimmered in the moonlight. Dec 10, 2014 at 18:55
  • I had an image in my mind's eye of a huge, graceful dragon lazing by a lake at night, possibly swirling the water into little whirlpools with her claws. Damselfly doesn't quite fit!
    – m-smith
    Dec 10, 2014 at 18:59
  • @LordScree: I'm a sometime collector of belt buckles, and I once emailed Peter Pracownik to see if he'd ever produced a belt buckle suitable for a much-loved (female) Welsh friend. Apparently not - he replied saying that if I happened to be the owner of a brassworks he'd happily collaborate on a design! Dec 10, 2014 at 19:09
  • @FumbleFingers There are physiological differences between dragonflies and damselflies, the most obvious one being that dragonflies are larger and hold their wings at a right angle to the body, while the smaller damselflies hold their wings down the length of the back. As most depictions of dragons I've seen seem to show their wings held down the length of their backs, maybe they should be called damsels! And then when you think of the sacrificial damsels offered up to them, it all begins to get rather confusing....
    – Mynamite
    Dec 10, 2014 at 20:14

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