noun, plural bo·as.
- any of several nonvenomous, chiefly tropical constrictors of the family Boidae, having vestigial hind limbs at the base of the tail.
- a scarf or stole of feathers, fur, or fabric.
- any large nonvenomous snake of the family Boidae, most of which occur in Central and South America and the Caribbean. They have vestigial hind limbs and kill their prey by constriction
- a woman’s long thin scarf, usually of feathers or fur
late 14c., “large snake,” from Latin boa, type of large serpent mentioned in Pliny’s “Natural History;” origin unknown (in Middle English folk etymology associated with Greek bous “ox”). Extension to “snake-like coil of fur worn by ladies” is from 1836. Boa constrictor so called from 1788.