n. pl. fer-de-lance
A venomous tropical American pit viper (Bothrops atrox) 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, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Get bitten by a fer-de-lance snake and you're dead within half an hour if you don't get treatment.