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Oxford English Dictionary dragon1

Entry printed from Oxford English Dictionary Online

Copyright Oxford University Press 2010



( drg n) Forms: 3-4 dragun, 3-6 dragone, dragoun(e, 4 dragowne, 4dragon. [a. F. dragon: L. drac n-em (nom. draco), a. Gr. ,; usually referred to - strong aorist stem of to see clearly.] I. 1. A huge serpent or snake; a python. Obs. (exc. in etymol. use).
c1220 Bestiary 759 e dragunes one ne stiren nout..oc daren stille in here pit. c1250 Gen. & Ex. 2924 And worpen he or wondes dun, fro euerilc or crep a dragun. a1300 Cursor M. 5900 (Cott.) Dun ai kest a wand ilkan, And ai wex dragons [v.rr. -onis, -ownes, -ouns] son onan. c1400 MANDEVILLE (1839) v. 40 It is alle deserte & fulle of Dragouns & grete serpentes. 1508 DUNBAR Tua Mariit Wemen 263 Be dragonis baitht and dowis, ay in double forme. 1667 MILTON P.L. x. 529 Hee..Now Dragon grown, larger than whom the Sun Ingenderd in the Pythian Vale on slime, Huge Python. 1700 BP. PATRICK Comm. Deut. xxxii. 33 Many authors..say that dragons have no poison in them. 1849 KINGSLEY Misc., Poet. Sacred & Leg. Art I. 265 Why should not these dragons have been simply what the Greek word dragon means what..the superstitions of the peasantry in many parts of England to this day assert them to have been mighty worms, huge snakes?

2. a. A mythical monster, represented as a huge and terrible reptile, usually combining ophidian and crocodilian structure, with strong claws, like a beast or bird of prey, and a scaly skin; it is generally represented with wings, and sometimes as breathing out fire. The heraldic dragon combines reptilian and mammalian form with the addition of wings.
It is difficult to separate senses 1 and 2 in early instances. a1225 St. Marher. 158 e deuel com to is maide swye In aforme of a dragoun. 1297 R. GLOUC. (1724) 151 Out of the dragone's mouth twei leomes ther stode there. 1382 WYCLIF Dan. xiv. 28 eue to vs Danyel that distruyede Bel and slew the dragoun. c1400 Destr. Troy 166 A derfe dragon drede to be-holde. 1591 SHAKES. 1 Hen. VI, I. i. 11 His Armes spred wider than a Dragons Wings. 1595 John II. i. 288 Saint George that swindg'd the Dragon. 1607 TOPSELL Serpents (1658) 705 There be some Dragons which have wings and no feet, some again have both feet and wings. 1762 H. WALPOLE Vertue's Anecd. Paint. I. i. (R.), On a rising ground above the tents is St. George on a brown steed striking with his sword at the dragon, which is flying in the air. 1774 GOLDSM. Nat. Hist. (1776) VII. 156 The Dragon, a most terrible animal, but most probably not of Nature's

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Oxford English Dictionary dragon1

formation. 1813 SCOTT Trierm. III. xix, They..faced the dragon's breath of fire. 1895 A. H. S. LANDOR Corea 116 In shape, as the natives picture it, the dragon is not unlike a huge lizard, with long-nailed claws, and a flat long head..possessed of horns and a long mane of fire.

b. Hence frequent allusions to ancient and medival tales of dragons, as those which watchfully guarded the Gardens of the Hesperides, those which drew the chariot of Cynthia or the moon, those fought and slain by Beowulf, St. George, and other champions.
1590 SHAKES. Mids. N. III. ii. 379 Night-swift Dragons cut the Clouds full fast. 1611 Cymb. II. ii. 48 Swift, swift, you Dragons of the night, that dawning May beare the Rauens eye. 1663 Flagellum, or O. Cromwell (ed. 2) 5 He was very notorious for robbing of Orchards..the frequent spoyls and damages of Trees..committed by this Apple-Dragon. 1837 H. MARTINEAU Soc. Amer. III. 240 The other public buildings being guarded by the dragon of bigotry. 1856 EMERSON Eng. Traits, Wealth Wks. (Bohn) II. 75 Harder still it has proved to resist and rule the dragon Money, with his paper wings. 1860 Cond. Life, Fate II. 320 Every brave youth is in training to ride, and rule this dragon [Fate].

c. like a dragon: fiercely, violently.

1711 SWIFT Lett. (1767) III. 213 We ate roast beef like dragons. 1741 tr. De Mouhy's Fort. Country Maid I. 165 The poor Boy..seeing himself collar'd, fought like a Dragon. 1827 SCOTT Jrnl. 8 Oct., I even made a work of necessity and set to the Tales like a dragon.

3. In the Bible versions reproducing draco of the Vulgate and of the Septuagint, where the Hebrew has (a) tann n a great sea- or water-monster, a whale, shark, or crocodile, also a large serpent; or (b) tan a desert mammalian animal, now understood to be the jackal, and so rendered in the Revised Version.
a1340 HAMPOLE Psalter lxxiii[i]. 14 ou angird e heuedis of dragunys [1382 WYCLIF dragounys, 1611 dragons, 1885 R.V. dragons (marg. sea-monsters)] in watirs. 1382 WYCLIF Ps. xc[i]. 13 Thou shalt to-trede the leoun and the dragoun [1611 dragon, 1885 R.V. serpent]. Job xxx. 29 Brother I was of dragouns [1611 dragons, 1885 R.V. jackals]. Isa. xxxiv. 13 It shal be the bed place of dragownes [1611 dragons, 1885 R.V. jackals]. 1885 BIBLE (R.V.) Ps. cxlviii. 7 Praise the Lord from the earth, Ye dragons [marg. sea-monsters] and all deeps.

4. a. An appellation of Satan, the Old Serpent.

1340 Ayenb. 174 Ine e rote of e lyone of helle, and of e dragoune et him wyle uorzuel e. 1382 WYCLIF Rev. xx. 2 And he cau te the dragoun, the olde serpent, that is the deuel and Sathanas. c1440 York Myst. xxi. 157 The

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dragons poure..Thurgh my baptyme distroyed haue I. 1500-20 DUNBAR Poems xxxviii. 1 Done is a battell on the dragon blak. 1667 MILTON P.L. IV. 3 The Dragon, put to second rout, Came furious down to be reveng'd on men. 1707 WATTS Hymn How sad our State v, The old Dragon..With all his hellish crew.

b. transf. A devilish person; a fiend.

1508 KENNEDIE Flyting w. Dunbar 249 Dathane deuillis sone, and dragon dispitous. Ibid. 283 Corspatrick..That dampnit dragone drew him in diserth. 1715 I. MATHER Sev. Serm. (Boston) I. ii. 40 Has not the Dragon of France boasted, that he caused Twenty hundred thousand Persons to renounce their Religion?

c. An evil power embodied. rare.

c1470 HENRY Wallace XI. 287 Inwy the wyle dragoun, In cruell fyr he byrnys this regioun.

5. An appellation of Death. arch.

1500-20 DUNBAR Poems viii. 17 O duilfull death! O dragon dolorous! Ibid. lviii. 28 Off deathe..the dragoun stang thame. 1878 BROWNING La Saisiaz 43 The serpent pains which herald, swarming in, the dragon death.

6. A fierce violent person; esp. a fiercely or aggressively watchful woman; a duenna.

dragon of virtue (F. dragon de vertu), a woman of austere and aggressive virtue. 1755 JOHNSON, Dragon..3. A fierce violent man or woman. 1837 THACKERAY Ravenswing vi, Lady Thrum, dragon of virtue and propriety. 1848 Life Normandy (1863) I. 178 She will keep her husband in as tight order as the handsome old dragon we met just now. 1887 MRS. C. READE Maid of Mill II. xxvii. 116 Confronted by the dragon, in her not least dragonesque mood.

7. a. A representation or figure of the mythical creature.

c1320 Sir Tristr. 1042 Tristrem..Bar him urch e dragoun In e scheld. c1540 Inv. Westm. Abb. in Trans. Lond. & Middlesex Archol. Soc. (1875) IV, Hym that beryth the Dragon on Easter Evyn. 1548 HALL Chron., Hen. VII, 1b, A red firye dragon beaten upon white and grene sarcenet. 1766 PORNY Heraldry (1787) 203 The Eleventh is Or, a Dragon passant Vert. 1870 H. W. HENFREY Eng. Coins (1891) 38 The dragon on some of the coins [of Henry VII] was the ensign of Cadwallader, the last King of the Britons. 1888 J. T. FOWLER in Mem. Ripon (Surtees) III. 234 note, On the three Rogation Days the dragon was carried in principio processionis.

b. An ensign or standard, having the figure of a dragon. Obs.

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1297 R. GLOUC. (1724) 303 Edmond ydy t hys standard..And hys dragon vp yset. c1330 R. BRUNNE Chron. Wace (Rolls) 13345 A-mong o was e dragoun at Arthur bar for gonfanoun. 13.. K. Alis. 4300 Theo kyng dude sette out his dragoun. 1609 HOLLAND Amm. Marcell. XVI. xi. 74 The purple ensigne of a dragon fitted to the top of a..high launce, as if it had beene the pendant slough of a serpent.

c. dragon china, a kind of porcelain decorated with designs of dragons.

1786 F. TYTLER Lounger No. 79 8 Ringing it to try if it was without a flaw, she returned it into the auctioneer's hands, declaring it a piece of true Dragon. 1853 E. M. SEWELL Experience of Life ix. 80 Tea came, and..the wide cups of dragon china.

d. to chase the dragon (slang): to take heroin by inhalation (see quot. 1961).
1961 HARNEY & CROSS Narcotic Officer's Handbk. iii. 58 The method of smoking heroin called chasing the dragon or its variant, playing the mouth organ... In chasing the dragon the heroin and any diluting drug are placed on a folded piece of tinfoil. This is heated with a taper and the resulting fumes inhaled through a small tube of bamboo or rolled paper. The fumes move up and down the tinfoil with the movements of the molten powder, resembling the undulating tail of the mythical Chinese dragon. When a matchbox cover instead of a tube is used to assist in inhaling the vapour, that operation is called playing the mouth organ, which the action suggests. 1982 T. MO Sour Sweet vi. 50 Probably the stuff was now only twenty per cent pure. Still, good enough for chasing the dragon Hong Kong style with match, silver foil, and paper tube. 1984 Times 8 Oct. 13/3 More [heroin] is taken by sniffing the powder snorting; or by chasing the dragon..less through intravenous injection. 1985 R. LEWIS Blurred Reality iii. 105 There's this myth among the kids that if they inhale the burned skag it isn't going to hurt them. Chasing the dragon, they call it.

8. Astron.

a. A northern constellation, Draco.

1551 RECORDE Castle Knowl. (1556) 263 Aboute these 2 Beares is there a long trace of 31 starres, commonly called the Dragon. 1697 DRYDEN Virg. Georg. I. 334 Around our Pole the Spiry Dragon glides, And like a winding Stream the Bears divides. 1786-7 BONNYCASTLE Astron. 420.

b. The part of the moon's path which lies south of the ecliptic: see DRAGON'S HEAD, TAIL. Obs.
c1391 CHAUCER Astrol. II. 4 Whan that no wykkid planete, as..the tail of the dragoun, is in [the] hous of the assendent. 1398 TREVISA Barth. De P.R. VIII. xix. (1495) 330 The heed of the dragon and the taylle..meue wyth the fyrmament and folowe his course. 1594 BLUNDEVIL Exerc. III. I. xv. (ed. 7)

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306 The Dragon then signifieth none other thing but the intersection of two Circles, that is to say, of the Ecliptique and of the Circle that carrieth the Moon..and that part towards the South is called of some the belly of the Dragon.

c. Applied to a shooting star with a luminous train. Obs. Cf. DRAKE1 2.

1398 TREVISA Barth. De P.R. VIII. xxiii. (1495) 335 Amonge the mydle sterres of Artos fallyth downe as it were a dragon other a fleenge sterre in lyknesse of lyghtenynge. 1563 W. FULKE Meteors (1640) 7, 10. 1568 GRAFTON Chron. II. 119 Fiery dragons were seene fliyng in the ayre. 1774 GOLDSM. Nat. Hist. (1862) I. xxi. 134 Floating bodies of fire, which assume different names..The draco volans, or fliyng dragon, as it is called.

9. A paper kite. [Ger. drache.] Sc.

1756 M. CALDERWOOD Jrnl. (1884) 145 A peice of the shape of a dragon the boys let fly. 1868 G. MACDONALD R. Falconer I. 253 The dragon broke its string..and drifting away, went..downwards in the distance.

10. a. An early fire-arm; = DRAGOON 1. Obs. this; = DRAGOON 2. Obs.

b. A soldier armed with

1604-28 W. YONGE Diary (Camden) 35 Colonel Francis his regiment, especially the soldiers called Dragons, do continually make incursions upon the enemy. 1834 J. R. PLANCH Brit. Costume 270 The dragon received its name from its muzzle, being generally ornamented with the head of that fabled monster, and the troops who used it..acquired the name of Dragons and Dragoons from this circumstance. 1849 J. GRANT Kirkaldy of Gr. xviii. 198. 1867 SMYTH Sailor's Word-bk., Dragon, an old name for a musketoon.

c. A very powerful armoured tractor.

1926 Glasgow Herald 8 Apr. 11 The tanks, dragons, light and heavy guns, cookers, etc. 1927 Sunday Express 1 May 7 Just as these tankettes will largely supersede the infantry, so will the dragons supersede horse-teams for bringing up the guns.

11. Zool. A lizard of the genus Draco, having on each flank a broad wing-like membrane, which enables it to leap some distance in the air.
1819 Pantologia, Draco volans, flying dragon. 1823 CRABB Technol. Dict., Dragon (Zool.) the Draco of Linnus, a four-footed beast of the lizard, by means of its lateral membrane, to support itself for a short time in the air. 1841 Penny Cycl. XX. 457/2 The canines of the Dragon are proportionally longer than those of Stellio. 1847 CARPENTER Zool. 468 The Dragons of zoologists, instead of being formidable animals, like those of poets, are of very small size, and only attack insects.

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12. Ichthyol. (Also dragon-fish.) Lophius (obs.).

a. = DRAGONET 2.

b. The ANGLER,

1661 LOVELL Hist. Anim. & Min. 198 Dragon..the flesh is hard and dry, but if prepared, pleasant. 1694 Acc. Sev. Late Voy. II. (1711) 132 Of the Dragon-fish. 1769 PENNANT Zool. III. 130.

13. A fancy variety of pigeon; = DRAGOON n. 3.

1867 TEGETMEIER Pigeons viii. 80 The Dragon most closely resembles..the Carrier, and it is stated..that it was produced by mating a Tumbler with a Horseman or a Carrier. 1895 Daily News 10 Oct. 5/4 A splendid collection of dragons and tumblers, both short-faced and flying.

14. (Also green dragon.) The plant Dracunculus vulgaris (formerly Arum Dracunculus); = DRAGONS, DRAGONWORT. Also applied to species of Dracontium.
1538 TURNER Libellus, Dracontia latine dracunculus dicitur, anglice Dragon. 1551 Herbal I. Ovja, Dragon hath a certayne lykenes vnto aron, bothe in the lefe and also in the roote. 1626 BACON Sylva 632 The Spirits doe but weaken, and dissipate, when they come to the Air and Sunne; As we see it in Onions, Garlick, Dragon, &c. 1858 HOGG Veg. Kingd. 796 Dracunculus vulgaris, or Green Dragon, is a native of the South of Europe, and receives its name from spots on the stem. 1866 Treas. Bot., Dragon, Dracunculus vulgaris; also applied to the orontiaceous genus Dracontium.

15. A disease of the eye of the horse: see quots.

1639 T. DE LA GREY Compl. Horsem. 94 Dimnesse of sight, filmes, pearles, pin and web, dragons, serpentines. c1720 W. GIBSON Farrier's Guide II. xxiv. (1738) 80 the same which the Farriers distinguish by the different Names of a Speck, Pearl, or Dragon. Ibid. 81 When it is very small, and shows itself only in the Bottom of the watry humour, it is then called a Dragon.

16. (Also dragon cane): see quot.

1851 Offic. Catal. Gt. Exhib. II. 798 From Singapore..Ratans, dragons, and Penang lawyers are stems of various species of Calamus. Ibid. 800 Dragon canes mounted.

17. slang. A sovereign: from the device of St. George and the Dragon.
1827 MAGINN Transl. Vidocq. (Farmer) Collar his dragons clear away. 1859 MATSELL Vocabulum (Farmer).

II. attrib. and Comb.

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18. attrib. or as adj. Of or as of a dragon, of the nature of a dragon; dragon-like, dragonish. dragon boat = DRAKE1 5.
1606 SHAKES. Tr. & Cr. v. viii. 17 The dragon wing of night ore-spreds the earth. 1632 MILTON Penseroso 59 Cynthia checks her dragon yoke. 1777 POTTER schylus (1779) I. 110 (Jod.) Fierce with dragon rage. 1822 W. IRVING Braceb. Hall (1823) II. 174 They..kept a dragon watch on the gipsies. 1832 TENNYSON Dream Fair Women 255 Those dragon eyes of anger'd Eleanor. 1848 DICKENS Dombey xxiii, Two dragon sentries keeping ward. 1868 TENNYSON Lucretius 50 Dragon warriors from Cadmean teeth. 1895 . MACKAY Fife & Kinross I. 20 Norse Vikings whose dragon boats preyed on the coasts. 1903 Folk-Lore Sept. 293 A dragon-horse carrying on its back a scroll. 1937 Burlington Mag. Oct. 162/1 The ch'i-lui, also called dragonhorse, is known to us from classic writings.

19. General Combs.: a. attributive, as dragon-bought, -coil, -face, -feet, -hame (covering), -hole, -killer, -kind, -legend, -mail, -race, -scale, -seed, tooth (see 21b), -whelp, -womb; b. similative, as dragon-green adj.; c. instrumental, as dragon-guarded, -ridden, -wardered adjs.; d. parasynthetic, as dragon-eyed, -mouthed, -penned, -winged, adjs.; also dragon-like adj. and adv.
1872 TENNYSON Gareth & Lynette 228 The *dragon-boughts and elvish emblemings Began to move. 1711 SHAFTESBURY Charac. (1737) I. 149 Those grotesque figures and *dragon-faces. 1820 W. TOOKE tr. Lucian I. 107 Hecate..stamped with her *dragon-feet. 1884 Pall Mall G. 1 Dec. 5/1 *Dragon-green great coats with red linings. 1901 Daily News 22 Feb. 6/3 Their places of captivity stand for *dragonguarded castles. 1914 W. B. YEATS Responsibilities 32 In a dragon-guarded land. a1400-50 Alexander 487 Anec[t]anabus..Did on him his *dragon-hame and drafe thur e e sale. 1483 Cath. Angl. 106/2 A *Dragon hole. 1687 T. BROWN Saints in Uproar Wks. 1730 I. 81 Ten times more troublesome than..the *dragon-killer. 1963 Times 17 May 24/2 (Advt.), Every quarter it reviews, comprehensively and authoritatively, the latest developments in pure and applied science. It is the best dragon-killer sixpence can buy.

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1848 A. JAMESON Sacr. & Leg. Art (1850) 424 The *dragon-legend of the Gargouille. 1607 SHAKES. Cor. IV. vii. 23 He..Fights *Dragon-like, and does atcheeue as soone As draw his Sword. 1795 SOUTHEY Joan of Arc VII. 392 Clad in his *dragon mail. 1886 W. J. TUCKER Life in E. Europe 236 The prodigious, *dragon-mouthed water-pipes. 1922 W. B. YEATS Seven Poems 8 Now days are *dragon-ridden. 1885 scales. in Dublin Univ. Rev. Apr., Until afar appear the gleaming *dragon-

1855 MILMAN Lat. Chr. IX. viii. (1864) V. 389 Had only sowed the *dragon seed of worse heresies. 1607 TOPSELL Serpents (1658) 709 A little *Dragon-whelp bred in Arcadia. 1605 Play Stucley 1191 in Simpson Sch. Shaks. I. 206 His dauntless *dragon-winged thoughts. 1634 MILTON Comus 131 The *dragon womb Of Stygian darkness.

20. Special Combs.: dragon arum, the plant Dracunculus vulgaris (sense 14); dragon-beam, dragon-piece, a short beam lying diagonally with the wall-plates at the angles of the roof for receiving the heel or foot of the hip-rafter (Gwilt); dragon-bushes, Linaria vulgaris (Miller); dragon claw = dragon's claw (see 21); dragon-fish (see sense 12); dragon-plant, a name for the species of Dracna; dragon serpentine = DRAGONWORT; dragon-shell (see quot.); dragon-stone, DRACONITES; dragon-volant (see quot.); dragon-water, a medicinal preparation popular in 17th c. Also DRAGON-FLY, etc.
1703 MOXON Mech. Exerc. 160 *Dragon-beams, are two strong Braces or Struts..meeting in an angle upon the shoulder of the King-piece. 1823 P. NICHOLSON Pract. Build. 222 *Dragon-piece, a beam bisecting the wall-plate, for receiving the heel or foot of the hip-rafters. 1598 FLORIO, Dragontea, the herb dragon wort, or *dragon serpentine.

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1753 CHAMBERS Cycl. Supp., *Dragon-shell..a name a species of concamerated patella or limpet. This has its top very much bent, and is of an ash-colour on the outside, but of an elegant and bright flesh-colour within. 1632 SHERWOOD, *Dragon stone, draconite. 1867 SMYTH Sailor's Word-bk., *Dragon-volant, the old name for a gun of large calibre used in the French navy. 1607 DEKKER Westw. Hoe II. ii. Wks. 1873 II. 308 Will you send her a Box of Mithridatum and *Dragon water. 1615 MARKHAM Eng. Housew. II. i. (1668) 6 For the Quartan Fever, Take..Dragon water.

21. Comb. with dragon's. a. In names of plants, as dragon's-claw, dragon's-herb (= DRAGONWORT); dragon's-mouth (see quot.). b. dragon's belly, dragon's skin (see quots.); dragon's teeth, the teeth of the dragon fabled to have been sown by Cadmus, from which sprang armed men; also the colloquial name given to the cone-shaped anti-tank obstacles used in the war of 1939-45 (see also quot. 1971); dragon's tongue, ?the tongue of a buckle. See also DRAGON'S BLOOD, -HEAD, -TAIL.
1766 CROKER Dict. Arts, Venter Draconis, *Dragon's Belly, in astronomy..that part [of a planet's orbit] most remote from the nodes, that is, from the dragon's head and tail. 1832 COMSTOCK Bot. (1850) 424 Corallorhiza, *Dragon's claw. 1600 VAUGHAN Direct. Health (1633) 166 Rosemary, Myrrh, Masticke, Bolearmoniacke, *Dragons hearbe, Roach Allom. 1857-84 HENFREY Bot. (ed. 4) 301 The Snap-dragon, or *Dragon's mouth. 1884 MILLER Plant-n., Dragon's-mouth, Antirrhinum majus, Arum crinitum, and Epidendrum macrochilum. 1865 PAGE Handbk. Geol. Terms, *Dragons' Skin, a familiar term among miners and quarrymen for the stems of Lepidodendron, whose rhomboidal leaf-scars somewhat resemble the scales of reptiles. 1644 MILTON Areop. (Arb.) 35 They are as lively, and as vigorously productive, as those fabulous *Dragons teeth. 1853 MARSDEN Early Purit. 290 Jesuits..sowed the dragon's teeth which sprung up into the hydras of rebellion and apostasy. 1943 HUNT & PRINGLE Service Slang 28 Dragon's teeth, a form of anti-tank obstacle. 1944 Times 28 Nov. 4/2 Extensive minefields, road blocks, dragons' teeth, tank ditches, [etc.]. 1971 Oxf. Univ. Gaz. 18 Feb. 671/1 Dragon's teeth, that is to say, sharp hinged teeth

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which..protrude from the ground but can be made to sink into it for a car to pass. 1794 W. FELTON Carriages (1801) I. 101 The small splinter-sockets, shewing the hook, the eye and *dragon's-tongue, which are for one and the same use.

Hence dragonhood, the condition or quality of a dragon; dragonship, the office or occupation of a dragon (as strict guardian).
1862 C. BEDE College Life 103 The same mysterious dragonship was maintained over her in-doors. 1894 G. ALLEN in Westm. Gaz. 23 Oct. 1/3 What are the visible signs and credentials of his dragonhood?

ADDITIONS SERIES 1993 dragon, n.1 Add: [7.] e. to tickle the dragon('s tail), to undertake a hazardous operation or activity. colloq.
1964 M. GOWING Britain & Atomic Energy, 1939-1945 ix. 263 Frisch settled in..doing experiments on critical assemblies, including a very delicate experiment known as tickling the dragon when a slug of fissile material was passed through an almost critical assembly. 1984 New Yorker 26 Nov. 53/1 He had no desire whatever to tickle the dragon's tail his expression for flying in extremely marginal conditions.

DRAFT ADDITIONS SEPTEMBER 2001 dragon, n.1 [After Chinese lng dragon, the Chinese imperial emblem (alluding to the remaining capitalist economies in the area); in fuller form little dragon after xi olng. Compare TIGER n. Additions and Chinese lngtng-h yu, lit. dragons rising and tigers leaping, a scene of bustling activity.] Any of a number of newly industrialized South-East Asian countries (esp. Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and South Korea) characterized in terms of economic success. Freq. attrib., esp. in dragon economy. Also more fully little dragon.
1981 Christian Sci. Monitor 30 Apr. B1/1 Three-quarters of the world's poor live in the region, despite..the business dragons of East Asia: Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and South Korea. 1988 Pacific Rev. 1 331 Singapore is already one of the four little dragons, Thailand and Malaysia are now clearly on the way..and resource-rich Indonesia exhibits great possibilities for development. 1992 Economist 18 Apr. 12/1 Today the Latins are only half as

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rich as the Asians. While the dragons were building rapid growth on fast-rising exports, the Latin Americans shielded inefficient local firms behind high trade barriers. 2000 C. H. BENG in F. Richter Dragon Millennium xi. 175 The times immediately ahead are likely to be more difficult for dragon economies, as well as for most other economies.

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