(pronounced SUR-pehn-teen OR SUR-pehn-TYNE)
One of our favorite words, only because we first heard Peter Falk screaming it out to a panicked Alan Arkin years ago in an all-time classic movie, The In-Laws. Arkin, in an attempt to avoid being shot by South American drug lords, runs to and fro in a ridiculously exaggerated manner, which should give you a fair idea what this word means: snake- (i.e., serpent) like. Used either as a verb or as an adjective, it means either acting like or resembling snake-like movements or shape. More specifically, when dealing with design, serpentine can mean having a compound curve whose central curve is convex.
Example: Victor’s vision for his entertaining-happy client’s outdoor living space was a series of conversation pits placed along a serpentine path of crushed granite.