A mythical creature in heraldry, depicted as having a dragon's head, a serpentine body, two legs formed like talons, wings, and a barbed serpent's tail. It represents war, pestilence, envy, and viciousness.
Late sixteenth century, via Old French wivre from Latin vipera, "viper."
- Cooper, J.C., ed. (1997). Brewer's Book of Myth and Legend. Oxford: Helicon Publishing Ltd.