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amphibian

Syllabification: am·phib·i·an
Pronunciation: /amˈfibēən
 
/

Definition of amphibian in English:

noun

Zoology
1A cold-blooded vertebrate animal of a class that comprises the frogs, toads, newts, and salamanders. They are distinguished by having an aquatic gill-breathing larval stage followed (typically) by a terrestrial lung-breathing adult stage.
Example sentences
  • Spadefoot toads are desert-dwelling amphibians that breed opportunistically in short lived pools filled by periodic rainfall.
  • Secondarily aquatic adult amphibians provide another source of diversity.
  • Among vertebrates, newts and other urodele amphibians show a remarkable capacity for regeneration.
1.1A seaplane, tank, or other vehicle that can operate on land and on water.
Example sentences
  • It says no other road-legal amphibian has managed to exceed 6mph on water.
  • Unfortunately for them, in December of 1941 the company was also given the go-ahead to develop an amphibian.

adjective

Zoology Back to top  
Of or relating to amphibians: reptile and amphibian biology
More example sentences
  • In both mammalian and amphibian eggs, integrins have been proposed as putative sperm receptors.
  • In dry years, such as the year of this study, ponds were dry by mid-June, invertebrate and amphibian larvae were unable to develop enough to metamorphose and emerge from the water.
  • Perhaps 10 to 30 percent of Earth's mammal, bird, and amphibian species are facing extinction.

Origin

mid 17th century (in the sense 'having two modes of existence or of doubtful nature'): from modern Latin amphibium 'an amphibian', from Greek amphibion (noun use of amphibios 'living both in water and on land', from amphi 'both' + bios 'life').

More
  • Amphibians live both in water and on land, and it is the idea of ‘living in both’ that gives us the word, which comes from Greek amphi ‘both’ (also found in amphitheatre (Late Middle English) from amphi ‘on both sides’ and theatron ‘place for beholding’) and bios ‘life’, source of words such as biology (early 19th century) and antibiotic (mid 19th century). Before it was applied specifically to frogs, toads, and newts, amphibian simply meant ‘having two modes of existence, of doubtful nature’.

Words that rhyme with amphibian

Libyan, Namibian

Definition of amphibian in:

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